Facebook Is Having An Android Event This Week- Could A Facebook Phone Be Coming?
Late last week Facebook sent out invitations for an event at their headquarters teasing a “new home on Android.” As expected the internet is now filled with rumors about a new Facebook phone. While we still have a few days until the April 4th event, here are some of the latest and most interesting rumors about the Facebook phone and what else they might announce.
A New Facebook Phone
The HTC Status
A couple of years ago HTC, AT&T and Facebook teamed up on the HTC Status, an Android phone that looked like a BlackBerry but had some unique Facebook features like a special Facebook button below the keyboard. This was basically the first Facebook phone. We reviewed the Status and while we liked the design and keyboard, the screen was pretty cramped and it was very underpowered. Well, it has been almost two years since the Status and according to some reports from the New York Times, it looks like Facebook and HTC are teaming up again for a new Facebook phone slated to be introduced this week.
The New York Times report talks about how Facebook’s apps would replace key parts of the phone such as Facebook Messenger and Facebook Poke becoming the main texting/phone apps (Facebook Messenger already lets you make free phone calls to your friends from the app using your data plan instead of minutes). It wouldn’t surprise us to see Instagram (which you remember Facebook bought for $1 Billion last year) play a large role in the camera app, especially since it has only grown in popularity since Facebook bought them.
As far as specs for the phone go, a recent leak by the reliable Evleaks of UnwiredView.com makes us believe that this new Facebook phone will be much more capable than the Status was. The phone, codenamed HTC Myst, is rumored to have a 1.5 GHZ dual core processor with 1 GB of RAM, 4.3 inch 720p HD screen, 5 megapixel back camera with 1.6 megapixel front camera for video chat, and LTE support. It’s not as powerful as the Galaxy S 4 or HTC One, but it should be more than enough for going online, watching YouTube and playing games like Temple Run.
New Facebook App
Today’s Facebook Android app
The Wall Street Journal on Friday ran a separate report saying that Facebook will be using Thursday’s event to show off their new Android app. According to this report, this new Facebook app will allow you see more from the homescreen so you can see your friends latest photos and updates without having to open up the Facebook app. This feature is said to be an update to the Facebook app itself, and therefore usable on regular Android phones like the Samsung Galaxy S III.
Personally, we’re hoping Facebook will use this event to add a bit more to their app like the ability to video chat from phones and tablets. A big event just for a seemingly small app update like posting from the homescreen seems a bit like overkill to us.
It remains to be seen what Facebook will end up doing but both options seem very plausible. Of course with the iPhone 5 and so many great Android phones available today (or coming soon), the big question for any Facebook phone is what will it offer that can’t already be done using the apps available on other phones. Phones like the Galaxy S III and iPhone 5 can already use Facebook’s many apps including Messenger and Instagram, which makes us wonder what special feature a Facebook phone might have to make you want to get it over the competition. The Status had the appeal of being able to more easily post pictures and status updates, but with the fast phones of today switching to the Facebook app only takes a second or two (and on iOS 6 you don’t even need to switch apps, just pull down the Notification Center).
So here is our question to you– what would Facebook need to do, if anything, to make you want to buy their phone?
Posted on March 31, 2013, in Cell Phones, Facebook, Rumors and tagged Android, Cell Phones, facebook, facebook android, facebook phone, htc, htc chacha, htc facebook phone, htc myst, htc status, instagram. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.