Facebook to show off its 'new home on Android' at April 4 event [UPDATED]Alex Wagner - Deputy Managing Editor, News Desk
Well, this is interesting. Facebook just sent event invitations out to the media, asking the recipients to "Come See [Its] New Home on Android." As you can see in the invitation that was sent to Engadget, the shindig is scheduled to take place at 10 a.m. PT on Thursday, April 4. No other hints as to what Facebook may be planning to show at the event are given.
Since Zuckerberg and Co. aren't offering up any clues related to what they're planning to show us on April 4, we'll likely just have to wait until the big shindig to find out exactly what's up their sleeves. One of the first possibilities that jumps to mind is the long-rumored Facebook phone the company is said to be working on with HTC. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has shot down claims that his company is building its own handset, but the rumors surrounding the device have persisted.
The most recent report claimed that the device, codenamed "Myst," will include a 4.3-inch 720p display and will be powered by Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. Of course, since Facebook is said to be taking part in the phone's creation, it's also expected that the Myst will come preloaded with Facebook-owned apps like Facebook Messenger and Instagram. The report, which surfaced in early March, also suggested that the Myst could launch on AT&T sometime in the coming months, so an early April introduction followed by a launch a month or so later could certainly happen. Thankfully, we won't be stuck sitting here and speculating about Facebook's plans for long, because the big reveal is just one week away.
UPDATE: A new report from 9to5Google claims to shed more light on the new phone from HTC and Facebook. The site's sources claim that the device is reminiscent of an iPhone, featuring a centered button at the bottom of its face like an iPhone home button. This button said to feature capacitive function keys on each side of it. The phone itself will reportedly be around the same size as the iPhone 5, which measures 123.8mm tall, 58.6mm wide and 7.6mm thick.
On the software side of things, both TechCrunch and 9to5Google claim that the handset will run a forked or modified version of Android. Facebook features such as contact integration, messaging and photo uploading will reportedly be baked directly into the OS.
Finally, it's said that HTC and Facebook are likely in talks with multiple carriers around the world about launching the phone. When it does arrive, HTC and Facebook will focus its advertising on the potential users of the phone rather than the device's hardware or software. It's not known if the two companies will actually be showing this handset off at next week's event, but TechCrunch suggests that Facebook will at least be demonstrating its forked version of Android.