Various reports over the past few years have suggested that Facebook (FB) is developing its own smartphone, but nothing has materialized yet. Instead, Facebook continues to expand its mobile products across various mobile platforms, and we expect the company to further its efforts today. According to earlier reports, Facebook will unveil new “Facebook Home” Android software that features deep integration with several Facebook services. The software is expected to be available across a number of Android smartphones, and rumors suggest it will be showcased on the upcoming “HTC First” smartphone rather than an own-brand “Facebook Phone.” All will be revealed momentarily though, and our live coverage of Facebook’s press conference follows below.
Annnnd we’re done!
Facebook is focused on the remaining 2/3’s of the world that is currently not connected to the internet. The developing market is their holy grail
We’ve got Zuckerberg back for one more dramatic summary
Will also be available in Europe on EE and Orange in the next few months
Available right now for pre-order at att.com/facebookhome
Available on April 12th for $99.99 on 2-year contract exclusive to AT&T
De La Vega just called the First “The most immersive engagement I’ve ever seen”
De La Vega up now to chat about ATT’s support for the new HTC phone
The HTC First will be a 4G, LTE phone
4 colors. Red light blue, white, and black.
Combination of Facebook Home and “great HTC design”. It’s the only phone currently that has Facebook Home pre-loaded
Chou just intro’d the HTC First
Now Peter Chou and Ralph De La Vega from HTC and ATT to announce their Home Phone
Facebook now also has a new certification program to get proper spec requirements for Facebook Home
It will be available on April 12th from the Play Store
Home will be available on the HTC One, One X, Samsung Galaxy 3/4, and Note 2 in 1 week
Alllright it’s “fun” video time
Here comes Zuckerberg again to wrap this thing up
“Mobile First, Mobile Best” is their new motto
They’re billing monthly updates with new features and improvements, throwing out the yearly development cycle
Tablets not available at launch, but “within several months after launch”
Will allow for use on Tablets and Phones alike
Will be available on Play Store
Home will be available to anyone with the most recent Facebook and Messenger apps on their Android phone
Flick icon down, Chat Head gone
Group chats possible, and you can see the group chat with the chat head icon
Facebook chat convos are integrated totally with SMS. The same thread persists regardless of the medium you’re currently using
Multiple Chat Heads available at any given time
This is actually pretty cool. It allows you to jump back and forth between apps, gather information relevant to the chat at hand, without closing out the conversation
Tap on Chat Head, conversation slides down slickly below the icon without pulling you out of whatever app you’re currently in
Chat Heads allows for messaging without leaving the task at hand
Messaging now requires complete attention diversion into the messaging app
Joey Flynn here now to talk about Chat Heads…
Apps can be bookmarked for easier access with a quick launcher. There’s also an inline status/chat updater from the notification bar
Status updates work similarly to Chat Heads. There’s a floating series of content updates that can be clicked on to interact with, or all folded into one single icon to place on the screen away from the main focus
No logos, no apps, the content really does feature first and foremost
Photos cycle through with status updates. The status floats on top of the person’s cover photo to provide UI consistency with image displays
Frankly, this looks a lot like HTC’s new Sense Blink Feed…
Cover feed is the first screen to greet you when you turn your phone on
Zuck is done, here comes Adam Mosseri to walk us through a bit more detail
Chat Heads work with both Facebook Messaging and SMS
The Home app allows for a floating circle of “Chat Heads” that float on top of any screen. Easily pulled up at any time
This is called, we kid you now, Chat Heads
Tap on profile pic, bring up chat conversation, and continue to chat in a UI overlay that doesn’t kill the currently running app
Facebook messaging has been totally redesigned to fit into the Home people-oriented concept. Want to end the “back and forth” between different messaging apps
Apps are still available, but they are secondary to the Facebook newsfeed. Apps are still 1-swipe away by tapping on the homescreen icon
Notifications are also designed around people, with profile images replacing apps, and people’s profiles becoming the centerpiece of the phone UI
Instant comment, and all interactions are designed to feel like they’re “system level”…wanted everything to feel super intuitive.
Home provides instant access to Facebook newsfeed
A home screen replacement, plus a suite of Apps tailored to the Facebook experience. Home provides a people-based UI
Android Home just announced.
We look at the home screen of our phone “100 times” every day. Yeesh…that’s a bit terrifying
Talking now about the revolutionary openess and customizability of Android, how it’s a perfect space to build in a new user experience much like what Facebook is striving to provide with their new Home software
Deeper than just an “ordinary” app
Their goal is to bring the phone and service to a massive audience. They’re not interested in building a super high-end device that will only appeal to a small demographic
Facebook is trying to bring the Home experience to your phone. A centralized hub for all of your social and communication needs.
Shift the paradigm from designing phones around Apps, to designing phones around “people”
Zuck is describing a new design approach, centered around making things more “people” oriented…
He’s talking about the concepts of “Open” and “Connected” leading into a discussion of the actual Facebook handset
Annnnd here’s Zuckerberg
Applause…we’re not sure what for, but anything to kill this silence is welcome.
They’re really pushing the limits of awkward/dramatic silence…dead quiet in here.
Music dead. Thank God.
A mysterious voice over the PA just indicated an imminent start to the event. Let’s go!
Music is taking a marked turn for the worse. Creed playing…let’s hope this thing gets started soon.
We’re hearing lots of murmurs about…surprise…a Facebook phone! With the cat so fully out of the bag, the anticipation seems a little muted, but we’re still excited to see what pops out from behind the curtains at 10am. Would a surprise appearance from Oprah be too much to ask for? We think not.
Music rocking. It’s a little upbeat for this early hour, but they’re doing their best to get us dancing before the keynote starts
Annnnd we’re in. Lots of press milling around, and by milling, we mean sitting on incredibly uncomfortable wooden chairs. Would it have killed Zuck to spring for a table?