New smartphone will run Facebook Home over Android by default
The HTC First smartphone will be the first device to run Facebook Home, the Taiwanese manufacturer has announced.
Billed as the ultimate social phone, the HTC First will be available in the US on AT&T from 12 April for $99, although no specific UK release date has been made available. It will however launch exclusively on EE 4G and should be available this summer in four colours – black, white, red and pale blue.
The smartphone was revealed during yesterday’s launch of Facebook Home, a piece of software that runs over Android, offering what Facebook describes as the best mobile Facebook experience possible.
It effectively acts as a home screen. It offers instant content from the social network, while messages can be viewed without disturbing other applications. Standard Android apps can be launched directly from within Facebook Home.
HTC First in line
The HTC First comes with a dual core Qualcomm 400 1.4GHz processor, 1GB of RAM and 16GB of storage as well as Near Field Communication connectivity. It features a 4.3-inch display offering 341 pixels per inch, a 5 megapixel rear facing camera and a 1.6 megapixel front facing camera for video calls. The version of Android that Facebook Home runs on top of is 4.1 Jelly Bean.
“Along with our partners and fellow innovators—EE in the UK—we anticipate excitement from customers when the HTC First becomes available, putting a user’s friends and family at the centre of their mobile experience,” said Peter Chou, CEO of HTC.
HTC has long been rumoured as a potential hardware partner, given that the two companies have previously worked together on the HTC ChaCha and Salsa devices.
Facebook Home will be available to download on the US Google Play marketplace from 12 April and will be available in the UK “sooner rather than later”. The first devices to be compatible with the software are the HTC One, HTC One X, the Samsung Galaxy SIII, Samsung Galaxy S4 and the Samsung Galaxy Note II, with more devices added each month.
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