This morning Facebook revealed a new Android-based mobile initiative called Facebook Home. Mark Zuckerberg was on hand to talk about what would happen if your phone was made to be about "people, not apps," and the result is Facebook Home.
While many assumed that Facebook would be releasing its own hardware device (despite our assurance that it wouldn't!), Home is, instead, a suite of Facebook apps that work together to put Facebook front and center across your entire Android device, making it feel like a "Facebook Phone." For example, in the Coverfeed app, it takes over both the Android homescreen and lock screen, and then provides a regular stream of updates from your friends--all without you tapping a Facebook app icon or even swiping to unlock. From the home screen you can even comment and like the updates that flow across your display.
The Status is a small Android 2.3-based smartphone with a horizontal 480-by-320, 2.6-inch touch screen and a keyboard on the front. Its most important feature, though, is the dedicated Facebook logo button near the bottom of the phone. You can press the button to immediately share what you're doing or where you are, whether you're sharing a photo you just took, an interesting Web page, or a status update.
Facebook chat, which is missing from many phone versions of Facebook, is plumbed in here, and a home-screen widget shows if your friends are available. When you get a call, the caller's Facebook status pops up on the screen.
This is also a full-fledged Android phone, of course, with the latest version of HTC's Sense UI, which is widely considered to be the most thoughtful of the manufacturer Android software extensions. For example, you can jump immediately to popular apps from the lock screen by dragging a ring over the app's icon, an HTC-exclusive feature.
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