Facebook Home could be the best version of Android yet

I wrote a news piece earlier this week where I just reported on the Facebook phone, and it didn’t really strike a chord with me. But after reading this recently on 9to5Google (which is mostly spot on with any leak), HTC’s Facebook phone, the HTC First, is going to potentially slaughter the competition. That’s if it’s priced well. What nails it for me is the user interface.

The HTC First isn’t the most powerful smartphone in the world, but this minimal aesthetic looks as if it was designed to run on practically any mid-range device. I’d say that a good 2012 Android phone could easily run this.

And it looks like the purest version of Android ever compacted into an OS. This is Facebook Home, with the apps either Google or Facebook related. Especially Instagram, one of Facebook’s most costly purchases at US$1-billion. It’s closely related to the look of a Galaxy S III, minus the fluff around it. I’m not sure yet if the background can be customized, but removing the background speeds up slower phones. We’ll have to see.

Even the home screen (pictured above) is a fresh take on the tired Android interface. It’s highly possible to modify the UI with apps such as GoLauncher, but it’s great for once to see companies take the first step and deliver an uncomplicated UI that gets the job done. Let’s thank the Z10 for that. It’s clean, it’s uncomplicated, it’s ideal.

Finally, we get a look at the sharing function which will be baked into every aspect of the device, supposedly. While sharing is nothing new, expect Facebook Home to streamline sharing, and simplify it until it’s a “barely there” product. We’ll discover in a few hours if Facebook Home, and the phones it’s going to be bundled with are anything to crow about.

Images via 9to5google.com 

Steven Norris: grumpy curmudgeon


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