Facebook is set to unveil something Android-related on Thursday. Some think it is a Facebook phone, others a forked version of Android with the social network’s paw prints all over it.
According to a few new specks of leaked data, it looks to be a bit of both. Facebook will unveil an HTC-built “Myst” device, recently leaked as a 4.3-inch smartphone roughly the same size as the the iPhone 5. The entire experience, which includes a new version of the official Facebook app, as well as custom Messenger and Contacts apps specially designed to integrate with Android, will also be available.
Evleaks, the often-correct source behind many previous leaks, posted a blurb from a device that doesn’t yet have the updated app: “The version of Facebook for Android currently on this device needs to be upgraded to support Facebook Home.”
Facebook Home. Seems fairly plausible. Facebook also put out a version of Messenger a few months ago that integrated with the SMS data for a few supported devices. While it never really broadcast that feature to the world, it gives us pause now; could it have been due to the eventual integration with a Facebook-centric device?
Also, the recent rolling out of VoIP calling to users in the United States, Canada and the U.K. could mean that Facebook is looking to circumvent the carriers with this release by allowing users to make calls without a voice plan.
All the pieces are there for a Facebook phone. Now we just need the why.