updated 06:52 pm EDT, Sat April 6, 2013
Facebook phone first with non-Sense Android install since 2010
The HTC First, the upcoming smartphone preloaded with Facebook Home, will give users the option of turning off the Facebook launcher. Those opting to remove the socially-focused user interface will be able to use a stock installation of Android, and effectively becomes the first phone from the manufacturer to run without an overlay, such as Sense, since the T-Mobile G2.
The stock mobile OS, according to Phandroid, will have all of the basic apps and functionality of an Android installation, though without the typical Android Open Source Project (AOSP) updates received by purely stock devices, such as the Nexus range of tablets and phones. Instead of updates directly from Google, they will have to be created and pushed through HTC, as currently for Sense-enabled devices.
Facebook Home uses an overlay that brings contacts in front of apps, instead of containing them within apps and device notifications. The home screen is dominated by status feed updates, while individual contacts appear in a system called Chat Heads. The social network will be allowing a number of devices to download Hone through Google Play on April 12th.