HTC have joined hands with Facebook in launching the first ever Facebook certified phone called the “HTC First” which is going to run the all new Facebook Home app for Android that was recently unveiled by Mark Zuckerberg. The basic idea behind Facebook Home is to bring a whole new experience of how you would be using facebook on your handheld devices in the near future making it relatively quite simple to navigate and use without the need for downloading any additional apps for the same purpose. Facebook Home gives user’s the latest updates, messages and newsfeeds directly on the homescreen.
Coming back to the phone, the HTC First comes with a 4.3-inch Gorilla Glass display, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor with dual-core CPU, 1GB RAM, a 5MP HD rear and a 1.6MP front facing camera, 16GB of internal Storage and runs on Android 4.1 Jelly Bean but wait ! Here is where things start getting interesting. Apparently the HTC First runs on stock Android which means that even though you will get all the benefits from android Jelly Bean, you will get it all in the Vanilla Android form much like the ones found in the Nexus Series.
Its actually quite surprising on the part of the Taiwanese Tech giants who have opted to go with stock Android rather than their own custom UI, the HTC Sense. This makes the HTC First the second phone in the the company’s history to come with stock Android with the HTC G2 being the very first HTC device which offered an out-in-out pure Android experience. The HTC First will be available in four colours – black, white, red and pale blue and is sheduled to launch on April 12 for $99.99 from AT&T for which the pre-orders have already begun. We got a chance to catch up with Mr. Ralph de la Vega, president and CEO, AT&T Mobility who had this to say about the phone and the all new Facebook Home experience;
“The HTC First will offer the best Facebook Home experience on mobile, right out of the box. That’s why we’re committed to this phone and making it exclusive in our stores, Comemnting on Facebook Home, “Facebook Home brings your News Feed to the surface, immediately giving you the content you care about right on your home screen when you turn on your phone without having to open an app or access a mobile website. Just sign into your Facebook account and begin using Home, no need for download or configuration”.
He further added, “Facebook Home connects you directly with your friends, whether it’s their real-time updates and newest photo uploads being streamed on your cover feed or the ability to chat with friends without jumping in and out of apps. Zuckerberg says you’ll be seeing the world through people rather than apps. He gives an example of standing in line at a store and looking down at the phone to see photos of friends and family. It’ll be possible to flip through the items. If there’s something you like, just double tap on it to “like” it. You can also add comments from the home screen”
Here is what Mr. Zuckerberg had to say about Facebook Home, “Home is a completely new experience for your phone. “With Home available right out of the box, you’re getting the best quality experience for connecting with your friends.”
The Facebook Home App which comes pre-installed with the HTC First can be downloaded from the Google Play Store starting April 12th but unfortunately for now, its only going to be availabale for just six devices that include the HTC First, HTC One, HTC One X+, Samsung Galaxy S4, Galaxy SIII and the Galaxy Note II but Facebook have promised to release the app for other devices as well but for now we’ll have to wait and see as to exactly when they are planning on doing that.