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.
Maybe Facebook (FB) is onto something after all with its notion that people want their smartphones to be centered more around its social network. Flurry Analytics released a new report on Wednesday showing that iOS and Android users spend roughly half their time either playing mobile games, which accounted for 32% of all time spent on both platforms, or using Facebook’s mobile app, which accounted for 18% of all time spent. The report, which used both Flurry’s own data as well as data from comScore and NetMarketShare, found that mobile users spend 80% of their time using some kind of mobile app on their devices and spend just 20% of their time using some kind of mobile browser.
Facebook (FB) will finally put an end to the rumors and speculation on Thursday as it prepares to show the world its “new home on Android” during a special press conference, and BGR will be reporting live from the event. Some pundits have said that Facebook will finally unveil an own-brand smartphone — the much rumored “Facebook Phone” — but more solid reports suggest the company will instead debut a new Android app that offers deep integration with a variety of Facebook services. The app is expected to be showcased on the new “HTC First” smartphone, which should launch as one of the first handsets to feature the new Android software. Will Facebook also have a few surprises in store? Be sure to tune into our live coverage to catch all the action as it unfolds.
Bookmark this link, which will go live shortly before the event begins tomorrow, and make sure to head there for our live coverage of Facebook’s press conference! Coverage will begin just before 1:00 p.m. EDT / 10:00 a.m. PDT.
Recent rumors have suggested that Facebook (FB) is planning to announce brand new Android software during a press conference on Thursday, and the company has reportedly partnered with HTC to launch the first handset that will showcase the software, appropriately named the HTC First. According to leaked images published by 9to5Google, the Facebook Home software will feature a minimal user interface with full-screen Facebook photographs while also providing easy access to primary Facebook functions such as status updates, photo uploads and check-ins. Facebook’s press conference is scheduled to take place at 1:00 p.m. EDT on April 4th and BGR will be on hand reporting live.
As Facebook’s (FB) upcoming press conference draws near, a render of one of the first smartphones expected to feature Facebook’s new enhanced Android software has leaked. “Evleaks,” who is known to publish authentic photos of unreleased handsets before they are announced, posted an image of the “HTC First” from his Twitter account on Tuesday afternoon with no additional details. The new HTC (2498) handset is expected to be unveiled during Facebook’s press conference on Thursday, where the company will showcase its new “Facebook Home” software that replaces several stock Android apps with new apps tied into Facebook’s services. Earlier reports suggest that the HTC First is a mid-range handset with a 4.3-inch 720p display, a dual-core Snapdragon processor, a 5-megapixel camera and Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean. The leaked image can be seen below. More →
We started hearing word last week that Facebook’s (FB) new “home” for Android will be preloaded software that will essentially let Facebook take over your smartphone’s home screen with your friends’ status updates, pictures and more. Android Police has got hold of a system dump containing a pre-release version of Facebook’s new Android overlay that the site says looks like HTC’s (2498) Sense skin after being “attacked by a mutant Facebook app.” Android Police couldn’t get too many details on how the app will look in its final form because the leaked pre-release build requires an employee account and password to access. The site does say, however, that it looks like everything in the new software ”seems to be focused on the Facebook app” and that it doesn’t look like Facebook is building its own Amazon-style Android skin.
It seems that Facebook (FB) has given a name to its new version of Android that will purportedly clog home screens with status updates. According to 9to5Google’s sources, Facebook is calling its new Android initiative “Facebook Home,” which fits in well with the notice the company sent out last week inviting people to “come see our new home on Android.” We still have no definitive word on precisely what this new “home” will entail, although The Wall Street Journal reported last week that Facebook is planning “new software for mobile devices powered by Google’s Android operating system that displays content from users’ Facebook accounts on a smartphone’s home screen.” Facebook’s event is scheduled to take place this coming Thursday.
Mercifully, it seems that Facebook (FB) has no plans to produce its own smartphone. What it is planning, unnamed sources have told The Wall Street Journal, is “new software for mobile devices powered by Google’s Android operating system that displays content from users’ Facebook accounts on a smartphone’s home screen.” So in contrast to your typical Facebook app that exists as a compact icon that must be clicked to be used, the new Facebook app will act as more of a widget that gives you access to Facebook status updates directly from your home screen. Or as one source tells The Wall Street Journal, the new initiative is about “putting Facebook first” on Android smartphones. More →
Facebook (FB) on Thursday sent out invitations for a press event that promised to show off the company’s “new home on Android,” which naturally led to fresh speculation about the company’s intention to produce its own Facebook-centric smartphone. Unnamed sources have told 9t5Google that Facebook plans to show off its own modified version of the Android operating system, a move that’s similar to the way Amazon (AMZN) has heavily modified Android for its own Kindle Fire HD tablets. 9to5Google’s sources also indicate that Facebook is working with HTC (2498) to produce a smartphone based on Facebook’s modified Android that will be sold “as a lifestyle brand, not specifically for its hardware or software.” More →
Tim Cook is still well-loved by Apple (AAPL) employees — he’s just not as well-loved as he was a year ago. Glassdoor’s most recent CEO approval ratings show that 93% of Apple workers approve of the job Cook is doing, down from the 97% approval rating he had last year when he was ranked as the most popular CEO in the world. Cook now sits in the 18th slot. Taking his place atop Glassdoor’s list this year is Facebook (FB) CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who scored a 99% approval rating from employees to stand alone as the world’s most favored boss. Other popular tech CEOs on this year’s list include Qualcomm (QCOM) CEO Paul Jacobs, who ranked 8th among all CEOs with a 95% approval rating; Google (GOOG) CEO Larry Page, who ranked 11th with a 95% approval rating; and Amazon (AMZN) CEO Jeff Bezos, who ranked 16th with a 93% approval rating.
Does the world really want a “Facebook (FB) Phone?” Probably not, but that apparently isn’t going to stop HTC (2498) from delivering one. UnwiredView’s evleaks has posted a set of specifications that are purportedly for the HTC Myst, a yet-to-be-announced smartphone that is centered around Facebook. In case you don’t remember, HTC has tried something like this back in 2011 with the ill-fated HTC Status smartphone that had a dedicated Facebook button and that looked like a rejected BlackBerry (BBRY) design concept from around 2006. The HTC Myst will reportedly be somewhat more like a modern smartphone, however, with a 4.3-inch touch display with a resolution of 320 pixels per inch, a MSM8960 dual-core 1.5GHz processor, 1GB of RAM and a 5 megapixel rear-facing camera. While these aren’t exactly high-end specs, it’s unlikely that HTC is going to push the Myst as a premium device, especially since it sold the HTC Status for a mere $50 with a two-year agreement from AT&T (T).
Facebook (FB) may have plans to introduce a monthly subscription fee option that gives users more features on the world’s largest social networking site. A patent application titled “Paid Profile Personalization” describes how the company could “replace advertisements or other elements that are normally displayed to visitors of the user’s profile page that are otherwise controlled by the social networking system.” More →
A seven-year study from Carnegie Mellon University revealed that Facebook (FB) users actually shared more personal data after the company made some controversial privacy changes. Researchers found that modifications to the site’s interface and default privacy settings led to a “significant increase” in users disclosing personal information to Facebook, third-party apps and advertisers, PHYS.org reported. The study found that while the company’s privacy changes may have increased a user’s feeling of being in control of his or her data. At the same time, the changes led to confusion that increased the “disclosures of sensitive information to strangers.” More →