Rumor: Mystery Facebook Product Could Be An Android Launcher

Last week Facebook teased the tech community with its vague invitation to “Come see our new home on Android,” and today we’re seeing another clue as to what the social network may be planning. According to the folks over at Android Police, this alleged Facebook Home app may be a customized launcher for Android handsets.

Previous rumors have indicated that this Facebook Home app would debut on an HTC device, and today’s rumors have further strengthened that notion. Android Police reportedly obtained a system dump of the ROM from the long-rumored HTC Myst, providing a closer look at what we can expect from the phone’s hardware.

According to the system dump, the HTC Myst will come with a dual-core MSM8960 processor with 1GB of RAM, a 4.3-inch display, a 5-megapixel rear camera, a 1.6-megapixel front-facing camera, and Android 4.1.2 out of the box. It also specifies that the device will launch on AT&T’s network.

Additionally, the leaked ROM suggests that the phone will run on a stock version of Android that looks as if it were “attacked by a mutant Facebook app,” as Ron Amadeo of Android Police describes.

“Everything seems to be focused on the Facebook app—they haven’t made their own Android Skin, or anything like that,” he wrote. “Sadly, we can’t get too many more details, because just about everything requires that you have special access to Facebook.”

While this Facebook Home function is likely to debut on an HTC handset,  today’s leak suggests that it could eventually be available as a standalone app in the Google Play store. Among the software’s set of permissions are those that let Facebook “read the settings for the Android Launcher, the HTC launcher, and the Touchwiz Launcher,” hinting that Facebook Home could hit Samsung devices in the near future.

This aligns with previous rumors we’ve heard from The Wall Street Journal, which indicated that sources close to the matter said Facebook is in discussions with other smartphone manufacturers as well.  Facebook will take the wraps off its mystery Android project this Thursday at its headquarters in Menlo Park Calif., where it plans to hold a press event to unveil its new “Home on Android.”

via Android Police

Lisa Eadicicco
LAPTOP Staff Writer
Lisa has been reporting on all things mobile for since early 2013. When she’s not reviewing gadgets, she’s usually browsing patent databases or interviewing experts to track down the hottest tech trends before they even happen. Lisa holds a B.A. in Journalism from SUNY Purchase and has contributed to The International Business Times, The New York Daily News and Guitar World Magazine.