HTC is reportedly set to launch two new Facebook-branded smartphones at Mobile World Congress next month, running modified versions of Android and supporting Facebook voice calls and IMs. According to CityAM's unspecified sources, the HTC Facebook phones will use the social network's color scheme and branding, and push the Facebook news feed - complete with messages - to the smartphones' homescreen.
The Facebook phone has kind of dropped off the radar recently, especially with Facebook having a pair of announcements not too long ago, and none of them revealing a phone that integrates Facebook in a new and bold way. According to the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG)'s recently filing, dating back to December 23rd, 2010, it looks like the rumors about the Facebook phone are going to pick up speed again, as a new device from INQ has popped up.
We guessed the latest batch of Facebook phone rumors from this morning wouldn't be the last we'd hear about the supposed INQ mobile/Facebook collaboration, and on cue a new set of tidbits have arrived. GigaOm have been piecing together their own sources and have fleshed things out a little: they say Bloomberg's H1 2011 timescale is over-confident but that the first network to see the Facebook phone will be Hutchinson's 3, likely with a Spotify bundle in tow. While they reiterate that the vaunted AT&T deal hasn't been finalized yet, they also say that, if Spotify manage their predicted December US launch, access could also be bundled on the AT&T version of the smartphone(s).
They also go on to mix in some speculation about the hardware itself, though it's tricky to work out exactly where the leaks end and the wishful-thinking begins. A stripped-down "thin" Android build is the underlying OS, with Facebook an HTML5 layer on top; your Facebook login details trigger an auto-sync, pulling in contacts, calendar and multimedia.
The Facebook phone rumors refuse to die, and now Bloomberg has chimed in with its own "three people familiar with the matter." According to those unnamed sources, Facebook has been working with INQ Mobile on not one but two smartphones, which will see a European release in the first half of 2011 and potentially an AT&T debut in July or August that year. However, Facebook apparently "hasn't decided" if it will be putting its brand on the handsets.
According to one of the sources, the two new phones will each run Android; one will be a full-touchscreen device, while the other will have a hardware QWERTY keyboard and a touchscreen. INQ confirmed they were looking at shifting to Android in September last year, as well as more unusual form-factors and even flexible displays, though have yet to actually unveil any such devices.
UK carrier 3 has finally taken the wraps off of its Facebook cellphone, the INQ1, an HSDPA slider with a 3.2-megapixel camera. The Facebook phone has a new application offering what's said to be the most social networking functionality of any Facebook software to date. Electricpig spent some hands-on time with the handset, and while as a phone it's not all that inspiring, the Facebook app really is decent.
During Mobile World Congress late last month, it was announced Facebook Messenger would be arriving for Windows Phone. Fast-forward a little over a week, and that time has finally arrived, with those running Microsoft's mobile operating system being able to expand their digital social horizons.
This week in Barcelona, Microsoft’s Joe Belfiore suggested that the spread of Windows Phone 8 across the planet is leading in to a greater app spread. This suggestion also had to do with updates for the system itself, with Belfiore saying that because Windows Phone is growing around the world, more apps and software updates will be coming through 2014. One of these apps is Facebook Messenger.
In October, a Pew Research Center report was released showing that 30-percent of American adults on Facebook get at least part of their news through the social network. That number may grow in the coming months, with Facebook announcing today that it will be showing more news links, particularly for those who are accessing the social network through a smartphone.
The Windows Phone 8 Facebook app has received its latest update, bringing it up to version 5.1. With the update -- which is pretty substantial -- users gain access to a variety of new functionality they otherwise have to use the Web for, including the ability to unfriend those no longer wanted on an account. The update can be grabbed now from the Windows Phone Store.
Headphones come in all shapes and sizes, yet offer more or less the same functionality. The folks behind Muzik aim to change this, announcing the soon-to-be-available smart headphones that allow users to natively share the song they're listening to on Facebook, Twitter, and elsewhere. This is the first of what will be a line of different wearable technology devices, says the company's vice chairman John Cawley.