HTC announces ‘Facebook handset’ with app built over OS


Android device will be available on EE in the coming months

HTC has announced its new First handset which features the new ‘Facebook Home’ software built over the top of the Android OS.

The device will be available in the US on April 14, with the UK version following in the ‘next few months’ on EE according to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

No pricing is currently available for the UK release, however US operator AT&T is pricing the handset in the low to mid-range bracket.

The specs for the device were unavailable at the UK screening of the US press conference.

The Facebook Home app will also be available on other Android devices later this month following its US release on April 14, initially on a ‘limited number’ of devices.

After downloading the app users will be able to set Facebook to sit above the Android OS and show their ‘newsfeed’ as their home screen, effectively turning it into a ‘Facebook phone’.

The new software will also show Facebook messages and SMS messages from people with their Facebook account connected to their phone number over the top of any apps running on the phone.

Discussing the new app, Zuckerberg said: “Today phones are designed around apps and not people, so we want to flip that around and put people at the front. We don’t want to build a phone or operating system that only a few people can use. So we wanted to make this feel like system software rather than an app.”

Pictured is the new Facebook Home software on a Samsung device