Yesterday Facebook proudly announced the launch of its first phone, aptly named HTC First (not to be confused with the HTC One). What makes the Facebook phone different from other smartphones is the prominence of Facebook on the phone. If you’re a heavy Facebook user, you may crave this phone. If you don’t have a Facebook account, well then move along, there’s nothing for you to see here.
The Facebook phone runs on the Android operating system, furthering cementing the Frenemy relationship that Google and Facebook enjoy/endure.
Unlike previous phones, the Facebook phone won’t be focused on apps, surfing the Net or even making phone calls. Instead, this phone is all about your friends, introducing Facebook Home which will highlight your interactions with your Facebook friends.
Here’s a video showing the Facebook phone in action:
The Facebook phone will be the first phone to have Facebook Home built in to it. Facebook Home gives a different look to Android and adds features not previously available. Facebook Home puts Facebook features front and center on your phone, with Cover Feeds, giving instant access to Facebook from your home screen, and Chat Heads, giving you the ability to chat with your Facebook friends within any app.
For those who want the Facebook phone experience without buying a new phone, Facebook will be offering the Facebook Home experience for certain Android phones, including the HTC One, HTC One X, Galaxy S3, and Galaxy Note 2. Sorry, iPhone fans, Facebook isn’t showing you much love.
You’ll be able to download Facebook Home to these phones beginning April 12. You can learn more about Facebook Home from the Facebook Home website.
Your Facebook phone’s home screen will display your Facebook friends’ posts and photos with a feature called Cover Feed, similar to your News Feed that you see on your computer. You can tap on any update to get more information.
Cover Feed lets you swipe through photos and posts to see them, just as you would scroll through your News Feed. You can double tap any post or photo to Like it. You can adjust the image quality of Cover Feed in Settings to preserve your battery life.
Facebook phone introduces a new feature called Chat Heads that lets you chat with friends using Facebook Chat and text messages from within any app. Chat Heads allows you to carry on a conversation within any app without having to switch back and forth between apps.
You can drag Chat Head icons around the screen to put them where you want them and drag them to the bottom of the screen when you’re done chatting.
If you don’t want to be interrupted by Chat Heads, you can turn off the feature in Settings.
In case you’re interested in what this phone has to offer as a smartphone, information was provided about the phone itself. The HTC First comes with a 4.3″ screen and is available in four colors. The phone comes with a 5 MP rear camera and a 1.6 MP front camera. The phone has 16 MB of internal storage and has 4G/LTE connectivity. The stated battery life is up to 14.3 hours of talk time with 18.2 days of standby time.
The Facebook phone will be launched on April 12 for $99.99 on AT&T with a two-year contract. You can find out more information from the AT&T website.
What do you think of the Facebook phone? Are you excited for the launch? Will you be standing in line to get one? Vote in today’s Wonder of Tech poll:
If you’re a Facebook fan, then you may be very excited about yesterday’s announcement about the new Facebook phone and Facebook Home. If you’re trying to quit Facebook, then this news may be your worst nightmare come true.
Are you excited about the new Facebook phone? Will you be loading Facebook Home onto your existing Android phone? Will you be trading in your iPhone to get a Facebook phone? Let us know in the Comments section below!