Even Facebook is going mobile, as it’s set to unveil a custom version of Android that’s deeply interconnected with the social network on an HTC-built phone at its upcoming event on April 4. Instead of the typical homescreen, this version is said to be replaced with the users main Facebook page.
According to a leaked developer application package file (APK) of Facebook’s new “Home” found by the folks at AndroidPolice, the modified Android will be debuting on a modest HTC device codenamed “Myst.” The handset is said to be sporting a 4.3-inch screen, powered by a dual-core Snapdragon S4 Plus with 1GB of RAM running Android 4.1.2 overlaid with HTC’s Sense 4.5. Imaging is care of a rear 5-megapixel shooter and a front 1.6-megapixel camera.
The software integrates itself into Android quite well, which can spawn windows that stay on top of all other windows, turn off the lock screen, activate as soon as your phone starts, monitor what other apps are currently running, control the phone’s Wi-Fi connection, and change the system settings. Other features present a more immersive Facebook experience, letting you check news feed stories more easily. One feature that stands out is “Chat Heads” which let Facebook Chat conversations hover above the currently viewed screen and remain visible while you use other apps.
The Facebook Home APK shows that it isn’t only compatible with HTC’s Sense, it can also read the settings off of a standard Android build and even Samsung’s TouchWiz launcher. This could mean that in the near future, Facebook could release an app version of Facebook Home on the Google Play Store so that it isn’t limited to HTC. If it pays off, Facebook’s move to the mobile arena might actually help it regain its lost users who have become bored with the current platform.
This isn’t the first time HTC and Facebook have partnered up. Previously the two had come up with the HTC ChaCha and Salsa handsets, which both ran Android and featured exclusive social networking tools.