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Leak: Facebook Home for Android replaces smartphone launcher

updated 02:49 pm EDT, Mon April 1, 2013

Launcher possibly installable on other Android phones

A new software leak appears to show that Facebook plans to heavily integrate the social network with its new smartphone, expected to launch on Thursday. A ROM reportedly usable by only Facebook employees and authorized users shows a Facebook-themed version of the mobile operating system, as well as gives more hints relating to the phone specifications.

The build.prop file unpacked from the APK container by Android Police shows it to have a dual-core MSM8960 as a processor, 1GB of RAM, and a 4.3-inch 720p-resolution display. A front-facing 1.6MP camera, 5MP rear-facing version, and connectivity over Bluetooth 4.0 and Wi-Fi.

Under the Facebook overlay is Android 4.1.2 and HTC Sense 4.5, while the launcher itself is called Facebook Home. The launcher, controlling the home screen, seems to be similar to the social network's existing app but on steroids, namely having permissions for system-level interactions, lock screen disabling, can monitor apps currently being run, and can change other system settings.

Further examination seems to show the Facebook app capable of reading settings from the HTC launcher, the stock Android version, and Touchwiz, suggesting it will be appearing on other phones in the future. It is speculated that this app could appear in the Google Play store, allowing anyone to be able to install it onto their smartphone and replacing their existing launcher, without paying for more hardware.

by MacNN Staff



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