‘Facebook Phone’ Leak Tips Dedicated Home Screen

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Facebook has invited the press to “come see our new home on Android” this Thursday, but what will that entail? The team at Android Police got a sneak peek at what the social network might have up its sleeve after combing through the developer version of the software.

The blog said it “managed to score a system dump of the Facebook phone,” but cautioned that it’s unreleased and likely a work in progress. Still, Android Police said the software is “a mostly stock, mid-range Sense 4.5 phone that was attacked by a mutant Facebook app.”

Essentially, the software suggests that the “Facebook phone” will really just be a version of Facebook that can operate as your home screen. The software appears to run on a mid-range HTC phone, codenamed Myst. But there’s no mention of the traditional HTC home screen app, suggesting that Facebook will take on that role.

The build gives the Facebook app a number of permissions not normally granted to a Facebook app, from control of Wi-Fi settings to turning off your lock screen.

But as Android Police pointed out, the software can read the launcher for Touchwiz, Samsung’s customized version of Android. “Having permissions for Touchwiz on an HTC phone is a dead giveaway that Facebook plans on releasing Facebook Home not just on this phone, but as a standalone app in the Play Store,” the blog said.

Android Police also posted a few icons it found in the documentation, like circular blue and white compose and settings buttons.

The software appears to be limited to Facebook employees at this point, so the blog couldn’t load it and sign in – or grab very many screen shots. All will be clear on Thursday, though. PCMag will be at Facebook’s event, so stay tuned for all the details.

This “Facebook phone,” meanwhile, might soon be competing with an Amazon phone. Charlie Kindel, a former Windows Phone executive at Microsoft, just started a new job at Amazon, where he is working on a “secret” project, according to his LinkedIn profile. That’s no April Fools’ Day gag, he insisted on Twitter.

For more, check out Facebook Doesn’t Need a Phone, It Needs Better Apps and Amazon Phone Good, Surface Phone Bad.

By Chloe Albanesius, PCMag


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