Last week Facebook announced HTC First, a phone made for ‘people, not apps’. During the announcement event, Mark Zuckerberg took the stage, as usual, to speak about Facebook’s new achievement: a suite of apps “disguised” under Home brand. Facebook Home looks like a regular user interface, similar with what we’ve seen at HTC, LG, Samsung or other Android OEM’s.
The difference between Facebook and other Android OEM’s is that Facebook has a powerful weapon: the biggest social network in the world. When you design a phone for over 1 billion active social users, you have a lot of chances to succeed. Add Android openness to this recipe and you’ll also have the perfect partner. Voilà!
It appears that everybody wants to be on the same boat with Facebook. It’s not a surprise that Facebook picked HTC to design the phone, Google to power the software side and AT&T to sell it. Years ago, Facebook team up with Microsoft to use Bing on Facebook Search, a tool that now among Graph Search looks awesome.
Now back to our hero, Facebook Home interface is all about Facebook as Zuckerberg likes to say. Specs are not important here, because you don’t need the power of a Galaxy S4 to run Facebook. So as usual, an 1.4 GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor and 1 Gb of RAM is enough to run a modified Android 4.1 Jelly Bean OS.
If we want to talk about the phone, it’s enough to say that it’s The Facebook phone. From unlocking your phone to pre-installed apps everything is about Facebook, at least when you first use the phone. I like Facebook put their ui over Android, as it adds a very modern look. The lock screen is populated with the latest posts from your friends and over that comes phone notification. So HTC First is one of the most personal phone ever made. It would be hard for a husband to have the phone checked by a suspicious wife that sees girls on her husband’s lock-screen. Or a mom that sees her boys on her teenager daughter phone screen.
Facebook idea is interesting and I repeat myself and say that it could have success. Wherever I go, I see dozens of people frequently checking Facebook app and that ignore completely what others do. For those who have a solid relationship and cannot live without checking Facebook multiple times per day, this is the perfect phone. For the rest of us, there are other Androids, Windows, BlackBerry and iOS devices out there that will also offer Facebook Home app soon.
Here’s Facebook Home first ad