Facebook Home and HTC First: What to Expect at Zuckerberg's Big Android Event

Is Facebook finally releasing a phone? A guide to the 'Facebook Home' rumors.

ByABC News
April 3, 2013, 2:05 PM

April 3, 2013 — -- Today the cellphone celebrates its 40th anniversary and tomorrow Facebook makes its foray into the cellphone market. Or at least that's what the rumors and reports point to. Tomorrow, April 4, Facebook has invited press to its Menlo Park, Calif., campus to show off its "new home on Android." However, even before the announcement of the event last week, rumors had been swirling that social network was working on its own phone.

Here's a guide to the latest speculation about Facebook's plans. Will any of them hold true? We'll know all for sure tomorrow when Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg takes the stage to tell us what Facebook really has in store.

Facebook Home: Facebook's New Android Software
Sources have reported that Facebook is going to unveil its own software that runs on top of Android. Similar to how HTC and Samsung reskin Google's Android operating system on their phones, Facebook has been hard at work on a set of widgets and homescreens that put Facebook front and center on the phone.

According to 9to5Google, the software is actually called Facebook Home. Yes, Facebook's clever "Come See Your Home on Android" invite was more cryptic than we thought. 9to5Google and Twitter user @evleaks have also posted some photos of the software. From the images it looks like Facebook has reworked the homescreen to focus on, well, Facebook. It appears that you can update your Facebook profile from any of the screens and see your newest messages or updates right on the main or lock screen.

HTC First: First Phone Made by HTC
But that software needs a home and it is reported by a number of outlets, including TechCrunch, The New York Times and 9to5Google that Facebook will announce that its new Facebook Home software will be available first on an HTC phone. It is said to be called the "HTC First" phone. HTC, a Taiwanese phone maker, made a phone in 2011 that focused on Facebook; it was called the HTC Status.

According to Android Police, the phone, which has been codenamed the HTC Myst, will have a dual-core Snapdragon processor, 1GB of RAM, a 5 megapixel camera and a 4.3-inch 720p display. According to more photos that have been leaked by @evleaks, the phone will come in an assortment of colors.

Other Facebook Phones to Come
But the First will just be the first. According to The Wall Street Journal, Facebook has been aiming to work with other phone makers. "The company now offers an app for Android devices, but through agreements with smartphone makers would make news feeds and other information immediately viewable," The Wall Street Journal reported.

Tomorrow we'll separate rumor from fact, when Facebook's event kicks off at 10 a.m. PT / 1:00 p.m. ET.