Facebook unveils Facebook Home and integrated HTC First

Alex Walls
April 5, 2013

Facebook has unveiled Facebook Home, a family of apps for Android phone’s which integrates the service into a device’s home screen.

The capability will come pre-loaded on the HTC First, a new phone announced for the event.

Facebook has been said to be tackling Google with this new capability, which sinks a user’s newsfeed into their home and lock screen.

The function, called Cover feed, would allow users to view friends’ updates by flicking through and double tapping to like, Facebook said.

Another capability was chat heads, which allowed you to chat with your friends when using other apps; when friends sent messages, a chat head would appear with your friend’s mug, allowing you to respond via text or message.

The skin, or app, or ‘skapp’, would allow access to apps by swiping up, with a dedicated screen and the ability to drag and drop favourite apps.

HTC First

HTC’s First would be the first phone available with Home, which would come pre-loaded.  On sale April 12, the app is also downloadable from the Play Store in the US on the same day, for phones running Android 4.0 or higher, ie the HTC First, HTC One, One X, One X+,  Samsung Galaxy S3, S4 and Note 2, and more devices in future.

The 4.3 inch First would run with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and use a dual core Snapdragon 400 processor and 4G LTE capability, coming in black, white, red and pale blue, HTC said.

HTC said Facebook had many options for a hardware partner to deliver the first device and by choosing HTC, they had solidified the company’s place as a design leader in the industry.

EE to launch First…first

Everything Everywhere (EE) would be the exclusive launch partner for the First on its 4G plans, available this summer online, over the phone and in stores, with prices to be announced closer to launch date.  In the US, it is available from AT&T on pre-order for $US99.99 ( £66) for a two year commitment.

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