Report: Facebook's New 'Phone' Is Actually A Home Screen

Android Police has managed to get its hands on an APK for the upcoming "Facebook Phone" this Thursday. While there will be a physical device announced, it seems "Facebook Home" is a customised launcher, eventually destined for a wide variety of handsets.

The disassembled data reveals a lot of information about the hardware we can expect to see later this week. According to Android Police, the leaked ROM was clearly intended for the HTC Myst, a 4.3-inch device running Android 4.1.2, with HTC's Sense UI version 4.5 running on top. The mid-range hardware is sort of a bummer, but it makes sense that Facebook would be shooting for mass market appeal on this one — at least at first.

WIth regards to the Facebook functionality, the APK includes a special "enhanced" version of the Facebook app that is not available anywhere else. Its bonus powers include the ability to change system settings, enable and disable Wi-Fi, unlock the screen and create dialogue windows that can pop up above all other apps. In other words, the kind of stuff you'd expect a competent launcher to be able to do.

But that's only the beginning. While it looks like the Myst is the first real Facebook phone, other details suggest the actual Facebook functionality is destined for a much wider release. Android Police found permissions for Touchwiz buried in the code, as well as references to the stock launcher, which all but guarantees that the launcher will be available on Google Play sooner or later.

With all that being the case, it seems very likely that Facebook will announce a physical phone come Thursday, one with Facebook baked in so far as to seem like the operating system. But that phone is just a host for a Facebook experience that can — almost definitely will — try to make its way onto every Android phone out there. Want a Facebook phone? Chances are you're holding one already. [Android Police via The Verge]

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Comments

    Want a Facebook phone?

    nope.

    Chances are you’re holding one already.

    noooooope.

    "Its bonus powers include the ability to change system settings, "

    Like turning on the gps and allowing 24/7 location tracking?

    If the facebook phone is anything like their iOS app, then it will be unreliable and buggy as f*ck for long periods of time. So no i dont want a facebook phone!

    I can see this as an EPIC FAIL phone.

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