Facebook reportedly planning to show tweaked version of Android on HTC handset at upcoming event

Alex Wagner
Editorial Director of News and Content from  Omaha, NE
| March 29, 2013

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Ever since Facebook sent out invitations to its "Come See Our New Home on Android" event last night, speculation has been flying as to what Zuckerberg and Co. have planned for the big shindig. Today The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal each threw their hats into the ring, sharing what they've heard about Facebook's plans. According to a Facebook employee speaking to the NYT, the 'Book will be announcing a modified version of Android that will feature content from the social network directly on the user's home screen. The OS will also reportedly feature Facebook's camera and messaging software baked directly into it as core apps. Meanwhile, the hardware that this Facebook-ified version of Android will run on is expected to be made by HTC.

Two reports from the WSJ echo much of what the NYT claims will be shown at next month's event. According to the WSJ's sources, Facebook will be showing off an HTC smartphone that runs a version of Android that features heavy integration with Facebook. That includes displaying content on the device's home screen, an app to search the web for content related to a user's friends as well as a messaging app that allows communication through text, media and phone calls. Facebook is reportedly working to strike deals with other manufacturers that are similar to the one it's got with HTC, and the social network will reportedly make this new "app" available to all Android users.

Facebook's goal with this new, modified version of Android is said to be getting users to spend more time on the service, which could lead to more advertising revenue. Considering everything in today's reports, a tweaked version of Android with deep Facebook integration makes more sense for the company than the straight-up Facebook phone that has been the subject of some previous rumors. Focusing its efforts on a modified flavor of Android allows Facebook to put its software on any manufacturers that are interested in it, and Facebook could also make parts of it available to all Android device owners. What do you all think of this rumored Facedroid software? Does it sound like something that you'd be interested in using?

Via The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal (1), (2)