Facebook is all set to debut a special Android device on Thursday, which is creating great buzz all over the tech world, raising numerous speculations on what could be announced at the event today. With only a few hours left for the social network to showcases its 'new home on Android', images showing the alleged new Facebook Home UI have been leaked online.
According to a 9to5Google report, a few screenshots of the Facebook Home have been outed giving a sneak peak at the so-called Facebook phone, dubbed as HTC First. If these screenshots turn to be authentic, the new UI for Android will have a deeper Facebook integration within the Android menus and will offer users the ability to post status updates, photos and location check-ins without entering the standalone Facebook app or mobile website.
Furthermore, the new UI oriented for the social network will also allow users to view the images uploaded by friends in full screen within the lock screen and a new notification system for the lock screen. Also, there are Instagram, Messenger and Facebook sharing options shown in the built-in gallery app.
If you can see from the leaked images, the screenshots seem to appear on the alleged leaked render of HTC First by Twitter user @evleaks.
Overall, it looks like what Facebook is doing is making a product that can make Android a better funnel for prompting mobile users to post content and updates to its network, and to better keep up to date with new activity from their friends. If Facebook can successfully demonstrate that it can actually improve the Android experience with deeper hooks, its Home product could become attractive to other OEMs as well.
The concept of Facebook centric smartphones have already taken place in 2011 with HTC ChaCha and Salsa, but neither could actually taste success. But there is a chance now as the demand for smartphones is constantly increasing and Facebook has come up with several new features including News Feeds, Graph Search and more.
Do We Really Need a Facebook Phone?
But, it is to be noted that, most of the smartphone users check their Facebook updates right from their mobile and that there should be no need for a special Facebook phone to do that.
Although, in some countries including India, Facebook is one of the most visited websites next to Google and hence, a Facebook phone could make sense, only if the social networking firm thinks of adopting techniques to offer a faster connectivity speed and keep the cost of the hardware reasonable.
Anyways, the rumored Facebook smartphone - HTC First is claimed to be a mid-range offering boasting a 4.3 inch 720p display, 1.5GHz dual core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, 1GB RAM, Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean OS, 5MP rear camera, 1.6MP front camera, 16GB internal storage, 1GB RAM, no micro SD card slot, Wi-Fi, 3G and Bluetooth 4.0. Further, the smartphone is also claimed in various reports to come in multiple colors.
What do you think? Do the images look like the real deal? Is a Facebook-centric version of Android something you will be interested in? Can Facebook score success this time and expand its strategy to other OEMs as well? Let us know in the comments section below.