On Thursday, Facebook announced its foray into the world of smartphones with a suite of Android apps known as “Facebook Home” that integrates the social network into nearly every step of smartphone use.
The new software offers users the ability to update home screens, integrate Facebook and text messaging and post a status, photo or check-in easily from nearly any screen on their phones.
At a California press conference announcing the feature, Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg said that the clean, quick user interface is meant to showcase the network at its best.
“We think this is the best version of Facebook there is,” Zuckerberg said at the company’s headquarters in Menlo Park.
There had been rumors that Facebook was looking to manufacture its own phone, but Zuckerberg said that the company decided to make Facebook Home a software suite in order to reach a wider audience of the network’s users. A phone manufactured by Facebook itself, he said, could only reach a fraction of the network’s users. By integrating the software with Android, he said, the company can reach many more of its users.
HTC will be the first smartphone maker to feature Facebook Home. The HTC First will come pre-loaded with the software at the time of purchase. The phone will be available for pre-order starting Thursday.
Some Android users will also be able to download the suite of apps onto premium HTC and Samsung smartphones, such as the forthcoming HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S 4, as well the HTC One X, Samsung Galaxy S III and Samsung Galaxy Note II.
Consumers will be able to purchase the HTC First and access Facebook Home from other eligible devices on April 12.
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