Here’s What The New Facebook Phone Will Look Like [Leaked Photos]

All eyes are on tomorrow’s mysterious event in which Facebook is all set to launch a specialized Android phone at its headquarters. 9to5Google has posted photos of what we might see tomorrow at the launch event.

The Twitter account @evleaks tweeted with a new image of a phone that renders as the “HTC First,” supposedly the phone that Facebook will be launching tomorrow. The latest images showcase the basic Android UI that includes a bar with options to access to status updates, photo sharing and check-in feature. We have already reported the rumored specs of the HTC First earlier today.

HTC First Colors

Facebook HTC First

Speaking about the UI in the images, it surprising looks similar to the Android Vanilla.  The leaked images show the stock Gallery, Camera, Phone and Settings apps, along with Google apps like Search, Chrome and the Play Store.

The new Android phone is heavily customized to use Facebook Home as the home screen with default actions from taking pictures to texting friends. Facebook will formally announce Facebook Home and the First at a press event at its Menlo Park headquarters on April 4.

Besides the Facebook Home Android launcher, what else is Facebook planning to bring up? Well, for that we need to wait until tomorrow. Stay tuned!

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Facebook Android Launcher to Be Announced Tomorrow [Leaked Details]

Last week, Facebook teased the tech community with a mysterious invite to “Come see our new home on Android” event, which is scheduled for tomorrow (no, it’s not an April fool prank) at its headquarters. There have been some clues and information about what the event is all about.

According to the folks over at Android Police, Facebook is all set to launch a Facebook Home app, which could be a customized launcher for Android devices. Previously, rumors indicated that the company would be launching the HTC-built Facebook Phone, and the leak by Android Police has further strengthened the notion.

Android Police has also obtained a system dump of the ROM from a mid-range HTC phone codenamed “Myst.” According to the system dump, the phone will come with a dual core MSM8960 processor with 1GB of RAM, a 4.3-inch display, a 5-megapixel rear camera, a 1.6-megapixel front-facing camera, and powered by Android 4.1.2.

Here’s the complete build.prop specification obtained:

  • Manufacturer: HTC
  • Model: MYSTUL (Myst_UL)
  • Carrier: AT&T
  • Platform: MSM8960 (Dual Core)
  • Ram: 1GB
  • Display: 4.3 inch @ 720p resolution
  • Android Version: 4.1.2
  • Sense Version: 4.5
  • Rear Camera = 5M
  • Front Camera = 1.6M
  • No SD Card
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • Wi-Fi a/b/g/n
  • It is specified that the device will launch on AT&T’s network.

Facebook Android Launcher

Overall, the smartphone is likely to provide Facebook’s new launcher, a home screen and app drawer setup for a smartphone. It is said that some of the home screens will function as feeds, for news, updates from friends, photos and so on.

The basic intention is to integrate Facebook into every aspect of the phone and make it always available. We’re eagerly waiting for the event to go live tomorrow. Stay tuned, and we’ll keep you updated with more information.

Also Read: Facebook Phone, Do You Really Need One?

Facebook Phone, Do You Really Need One?

Rumors about Facebook Phone are back again, however, this time they might be true. With Facebook holding an event on April 4 at its headquarters, inviting the media to “come see our new home on Android,” the question still remains: Does anyone need a Facebook phone and does it actually make any sense?

In the last one year, the Internet was in a state of confusion with rumors surfacing about the Facebook phone. It was said that the phone will be developed by HTC and running a customized version of Android. This, however, has continued to persist till today. On the other hand, Facebook has constantly been denying about building a phone and CEO Mark Zuckerberg himself stated last year that building a whole phone “really wouldn’t make much sense.”

Facebook Phone - Concept Design

However, even if the company is working on a specialized Facebook phone powered by Android, how different would it be from the rest of the smartphones? Not much. According to 9to5Google’s sources, the phone will look a lot like the iPhone 5, and will feature all of Facebook’s services like photo uploading, messaging, contacts integration, and many more. This is pretty much the same what a non-specialized Facebook phone offers. It makes even less sense for users to buy it.

Why Facebook Needs a Phone?

Facebook is currently focusing more towards mobile, and revenue is the only reason I can think why the company will want to have a phone. The company hasn’t figured out a way to monetize the apps and offer mobile ad units to advertisers. With the new Facebook phone, there’s plenty of room for the company to think of generating revenue.

Business for both Facebook and HTC is pretty much clear with the Facebook phone. Facebook on one side wants to boost up its service usage on mobile, and perhaps it even wants its Messenger service to replace normal phone calls and text messages -more advertising opportunities here. HTC on the other side has completely lost its market share in smartphone.

Why Facebook Users Won’t Need a Facebook Phone?

The answer to that question is very obvious. As stated earlier in this article, the Facebook phone will pretty much offer the same services what a current smartphone offers except that it will be branded as a “Facebook phone.”

If a user has a smartphone, he/she probably has Facebook on it already. Facebook is one of the most-downloaded mobile apps in the entire app market. Even if you don’t have a smartphone, you can get access to it.Facebook Dislike

I feel that Facebook is making it hard and is pushing its users to use the social networking site on mobile rather than on a desktop browser. Facebook needs to realize that it is not Twitter where users will frequently put up status updates or post photos on the go.

Today the smartphone market has become saturated. More than 70 percent market share is taken over by Android, and Samsung’s Galaxy phones are selling like hot cakes. The major part of the rest of the market is taken by Apple leaving several other smartphone providers to fight for the third spot. What will HTC and Facebook do about this if they come up with a new phone? I have no idea.

What Must Facebook Do Instead?

What I feel is that Facebook should focus more towards its existing apps. Improvise and optimize them in a better and faster way, and also come up with an idea to monetize them. Alternatively, as many others suggest, a more sensible approach aside from building apps would be to release a custom Android launcher. This will enable users to change the device’s stock home screen and setup a customized home screen.

Facebook LikeFacebook could also think of an app store very much like what Amazon has. Not that they should a build a cloned version of Amazon’s app store or Google Play store, but could build something similar. This will enable mobile application developers to build apps on a deeper level that can interact with Facebook.

Nevertheless, if Facebook comes out with a customized Android phone, then they’re very late for the party. With a crowded mobile market, there’s absolutely no chance of survival unless it stands out from the others.

What do you think about Facebook phone? Do share your views with us in the comments below.

Facebook Testing New Compose Button on Navigation Bar

The social networking giant Facebook continues to experiment and add new features to the site. It appears that the company is testing a new compose button next to the user’s profile picture and name on the blue navigation bar on the top.

The new button enables users to post an update directly to their Timeline irrespective of what page they’re on. It is just similar to the notification buttons that remain intact throughout the site. Upon clicking the button, a prompt window opens up, which is similar to the one currently being used for posting a Facebook status. A screenshot of the same is shown below:

Facebook Compose Button

With the status update button that is being tested, users can post updates even when visiting another profile or Facebook Page, which is generally only allowed from the homepage or your own profile.

The button was first noticed by Mashable reporter Alex Fitzpatrick. He says that “the new feature was spotted on a page that has yet to be switched to the new Facebook news feed or be given access to Graph Search, its smarter search engine. We haven’t seen any other pages with the feature just yet.”

The button may also come to Pages giving managers the ability to update their Timelines regardless of where they are on the site. Additionally, if this becomes a permanent fixture, Facebook for Android and iOS apps might be updated with the same.

The button looks very similar to the button provided by Twitter on its top bar. The new button on Facebook could be an inspiration from Twitter’s button, and Facebook might have realized the importance of having a “compose” button on the top blue bar.

It isn’t surprising that Facebook was inspired from Twitter’s button because quite recently, Facebook renamed “subscribers” to “followers” on user profiles after it changed the name of its “Subscribe” button to “Follow.” This change, however, came after Facebook built their own button similar to Twitter’s Follow button.

Facebook to Show off Its “New Home on Android” on April 4

Facebook has sent out invites to media and bloggers to an event on April 4 at its place in Menlo Park, California. It is unclear what the event is going to showcase, however, the email invite reveals that the company will be showing off its “new home on Android.”

The possible guesses at the moment would be that Facebook is either launching a new refreshed Android app or a Facebook-specialized Android operating system.

Facebook Invite - April 4, 2013

According to a report by TechCrunch, it is said that Facebook will unveil smartphone software based on Google’s Android operating system. The software will have “extra Facebook functionality built in.” Also, the reports indicate that the software will run on hardware made by HTC.

It is known that Facebook and HTC have been working on a marketing campaign for the phone. Back in 2011, HTC released a phone that had Facebook branding included with specialized Facebook software. However, the phone received poor reviews after it was released to consumers.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg stated that the company is more focused on mobile, however, he denied the existence of “Facebook Phone.” Back in 2012, Zuckerberg shot down rumors about a Facebook smartphone by stating, “There are a lot of things you can build in other operating systems as well that aren’t really taking, that aren’t really like building out a whole phone, which wouldn’t make much sense for us to do.”

No matter what Facebook is going to announce, a Facebook smartphone or a refreshed Android app, we will have it all covered here for you. Stay tuned, and we’ll update you next week!

New Timeline Update – You Can Now Customize Your Facebook Timeline

Less than a week after rolling out a brand new News Feed design, Facebook has now announced a new update for its Timeline, which features a simplified layout and redesigned sections for things that ‘users care about’.

The new update will enable users to customize their Facebook Timeline and will make it easier for them to organize the things they like on their “About” page. Along with the photos and friends, the new redesigned sections will give users one place to add music, movies, TV shows and books that interest them.

For instance, “if you’re a movie buff, you can add your favorites to your movies section or use apps like Flixster and Netflix to share what you’re watching”, says Facebook. Users can manually tweak their pages on what apps they want to be displayed. Also, apps now get extra space on the page in other areas, with some now appearing under a user’s “About” tab.

Customize Facebook Timeline

Here’s a look at what the new timeline officially looks like. Facebook says that the new updated Timeline will be rolled out to a random set of users before they make it available to all users across the globe.

New Facebook Timeline Update

The “About” section, including friends, photos, and application activity are all placed on the left hand side of the Timeline. This is, however, customizable according to the user’s liking. The right-hand side of the Timeline now consists of the new status update box along with the latest posts.

Facebook has stated that the new update will only be reflected to user pages and no change is being made to business or fan pages as of now.

Facebook described how the new timeline will change the way users interact with apps:

The update makes apps more prominent by giving them new sections in the left column of timeline and on the About page. The new visual sections give you a way to add content from apps like Pinterest, Quora, Instagram, Etsy, Fab, and Foursquare, directly to your timeline. You can also collect stories from movies, TV, music, book and fitness apps into sections. It’s easy to organize your app stories into boxes on your profile, rearrange the boxes, and add content inline from desktop or mobile.

Facebook also stated that new Timeline users will begin to see the latest version of Timeline in their native iOS app immediately. However, as usual, Android users will have to wait a little longer as the it will be updated in the coming weeks.

How to Get Access to the New Facebook News Feed Early

Facebook has just announced a new design for its News Feed. The new layout for the News Feed is designed to bring down clutter and focus more on stories shared by friends and family members. However, the other reason to bring in the new change is ads.

Nevertheless, we have to say that the new News Feed is indeed beautiful and better than the current one. Facebook has stated that the new design will start rolling out to users starting today. If you want to get access to the new design even before your friends do, or want to give it a try and provide feedback to Facebook, you can visit this link – www.facebook.com/newsfeed and add yourself to the waiting list.

The new design updates will be available on your iPhone and iPad in the coming weeks and to Android soon after.

We already know that Facebook’s News Feed is all about real-time flow of pictures, status updates and links from the people and Pages a user has friended or followed. Functionally and fundamentally the News Feed has been the same since its inception in 2006. However, the big question is that what is new in the just launched newly designed News Feed?

Fcebook News Feed new design

According to Facebook, rather than bombarding the user’s news feed with a mixture of updates, pictures, videos, links and more, the new design is said to filter each of these items into separate streams, or different News Feeds.

In other words, photos will be segregated and showed on a different feed, music related updates on a different feed, and so on. One example suggested by TechCrunch would be the ability to view just the Instagram photos that have been liked and shared by your friends.

The new News Feed features three major components:

  • Bigger Images
  • Multiple Feeds
  • Mobile Consistency

Have you already got access to the new Facebook News Feed? Do share your experience with our readers using the comment section below.

Facebook Unveils New Look for Its News Feed

The social media giant Facebook has just announced a new design for its News Feed, including changes in the flow of status updates, photos and advertisements its users see on the site. The new Facebook News Feed is designed in a way to reduce clutter and focus more on stories that people share, as the company continues to carry out their mission: to make the world more open and connected.

Mark Zuckerberg unveiled the new design by stating that the “News Feed is one of the most important things we’ve built.” He compared the news feed to a personalized newspaper that gives users the ability to selectively read stories depending on their interests.
New Facebook News Feed Design

The new News Feed will house a nice mix of news content and stories from your friends and family. According to Facebook, the new design will make photos, news articles, maps and events look brighter and more beautiful.

To make sure you’re seeing all the stories you want to see, Facebook has different new feeds to explore in addition to the same News Feed you have today:

  • All Friends – a feed that shows you everything your friends are sharing
  • Photos – a feed with nothing but photos from your friends and the Pages you like
  • Music – a feed with posts about the music you listen to
  • Following – a feed with the latest news from the Pages you like and the people you follow.

Facebook has made the new design common on all platforms – “With the new design, now Facebook has the same look and feel on mobile, tablet and web. For example, the left-hand menu is accessible anywhere you go on Facebook. You also have a way to jump right to the top of News Feed whenever new stories come in.”

It is also known that users will not see the old Facebook logo anywhere on the site. It is now replaced with the letter “f” throughout the site. There are several new features and changes that have been implemented along with the new design. We will do a complete review of the new Facebook News Feed design once we get access to it.

Facebook News Feed - New Design

Zuckerberg stated that the new News Feed design will be rolling out slowly over the coming weeks on web and mobile. However, if you’re interested to give it a try, you can add yourself to the waiting list by visiting www.facebook.com/newsfeed. The new design updates will be available on your iPhone and iPad in the coming weeks and to Android soon after.

Zero Day Java Vulnerability Compromises Computers of Facebook Employees

Last month, a number of major companies such as the New York Times, Washington Post and most recently, Twitter had revealed that they were targeted by hackers leading to some form of data breach.

In a recent development, Facebook has also now revealed that some of the computers of its employees were hacked by using a Java exploit. In a blog post penned yesterday, Facebook security team says,

[…] In this particular instance, we flagged a suspicious domain in our corporate DNS logs and tracked it back to an employee laptop. Upon conducting a forensic examination of that laptop, we identified a malicious file, and then searched company-wide and flagged several other compromised employee laptops.

After analyzing the compromised website where the attack originated, we found it was using a “zero-day” (previously unseen) exploit to bypass the Java sandbox (built-in protections) to install the malware.

The computers were compromised when the victims visited a mobile developer website that was compromised to host a zero day exploit, which installed malware on the victim’s PCs. Facebook contacted Oracle regarding the exploit and they released a patch for the same on February 1st.

Facebook says that other companies were targeted in a similar manner and they are working with the affected companies and law enforcement officials to track the source of the attack.

And most importantly for us, there is no evidence that any kind of user data was exposed. Well, that’s a relief!

Source: Facebook

Facebook Testing Buy Tickets Button for Events

Facebook Event creators rely on third-party apps to enable the “Buy Tickets” option, however, it now looks like Facebook is planning to integrate it as a full-fledged feature on the site. The new “Buy Tickets” button will redirect users to the event site where the actual transactions take place.

Blink Vice President of Media Eti Suruzon noticed the new button added to one of his events, and has shared the following the screenshot: Facebook Events Buy Tickets Button Facebook is currently testing the new “Buy Tickets” button and is available to a random set of events. If the test is successful enough, the button will be made available for event creators to promote and generate ticket sales for their respective events.

Have you seen any similar “Buy Tickets” button anywhere on your event pages? Do let us know about it.

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