Review: HTC First and Facebook Home
The HTC First is an interesting beast. Though it is a mid-range piece of hardware, it clearly has high-end aspirations. HTC designed a simple, but effective smartphone that it comfortable to hold and easy to use. The screen easily surpasses most others in this class of device, and the performance on AT&T's network was fine. My only complaints about the hardware are the weak speakers and mediocre camera.
Facebook Home, which is available as a separate download to a bunch of other smartphones, is the selling point as far as AT&T, HTC, and Facebook are concerned. Facebook Home completely replaces the standard Android user interface for one that offers nothing but Facebook content. Whether or not you use it depends on how you prioritize information. Personally, I don't find it appealing because it doesn't give me the info I want from my smartphone's home screen.
The good news is, you can turn Facebook Home off. If you do, you'll have a nice piece of hardware running the cleanest version of Android this side of a Nexus device.
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Facebook Announces Facebook Home for Android
Facebook today announced a new push into the mobile space with new Android-based software that exists as its own user interface overlay. The UI overlay is called Facebook Home, and can be used to replace the home screen of select Android smartphones.
Hands-On: HTC First
The HTC First is an Android smartphone dedicated to Facebook Home. Here is a really quick look at the hardware.
HTC Announces the HTC First, a Facebook-Centric Phone
HTC today announced the HTC First, a new phone that takes advantage of the new Facebook Home user interface. It runs Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, but has Facebook Home preloaded as the user interface.
Hands-On: Facebook Home
Facebook Home is a new user interface overlay for Android devices that "prioritizes people, not apps." Phone Scoop takes it for a spin.
More Carriers and Phone Makers Agree to Adopt Google's RCS-Based 'Android Messages' Service
Google today said more wireless network operators and handset manufacturers will use Android Messages, its RCS-based messaging service, as the default SMS/MMS tool on their phones. (Android Messages was previously known as Google Messenger.) Some of the features of RCS, which is a global standard, include group chat, high-resolution photo sharing, advanced calling features, and read receipts.