Just when you thought the Facebook phone rumors were finally put to bed with the release of the social network’s Home Android overlay and its flagship device, the HTC First, The Wall Street Journal reported that executives from scuffling handset maker BlackBerry met with Facebook executives last week to gauge their interest in bidding in the company, citing sources familiar with the matter.
Years of speculation about a Facebook phone may or may not have been quelled with the debut of the HTC First in April, but what about a Facebook camera? Canon is currently accepting pre-orders exclusively on its online store for the Facebook-ready PowerShotN, which is set for a September release.
Facebook will release an update to its Android application Thursday that will allow users to set popular Home feature Cover Feed as their default lock screens. The Cover Feed option is only available for users with Home-supported devices, but that list now includes the HTC One, Samsung Galaxy S IV, and Nexus 4.
When Facebook introduced its Home Android overlay in April, Co-Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg discussed the basic concepts behind Home and what Facebook was seeking to accomplish with the product. However, for users seeking far more detail on the process of bringing Home to life, Product Design Director Julie Zhou posted a video on Vimeo featuring a presentation by four designers who worked on Home.
One of the oft-expressed complaints about Facebook involves its traditional process of staggering the rollouts of new products, such as Graph Search and its redesigned News Feed. However, users who access the social network via Android devices can now access the latest versions of the flagship Facebook application prior to their release to the general public thanks to Thursday’s launch of the Facebook for Android beta-testing program.
The good news for AT&T: Ralph de la Vega, CEO of AT&T Mobility, told CNET the mobile carrier sold out its inventory of the HTC First, the flagship phone for the Facebook Home Android overlay. The bad news for AT&T: It had to lower the price of the handset to $0.99 in order to do so.
The bad news continues to roll in for Facebook Home and the HTC First, as TechCrunch reported that U.K. mobile carrier EE and French counterpart Orange both confirmed that they will not roll out the only mobile device to come preloaded with the Android overlay.
Last week, AT&T lowered the price of the HTC First, the first phone to come pre-loaded with Facebook Home, to $0.99 for customers who committed to two-year agreements. Now, BGR is reporting that the device’s poor sales have led AT&T to discontinue the HTC First altogether.
Many users have been unhappy with Facebook Home, the company’s mobile platform on Android. Facebook will release a small update Thursday to Home, but it will mainly be bug fixes and minor improvements. Two lead engineers told a select group of reporters Thursday that the first update to Home will be released Thursday afternoon, with greater updates available within the next two months.