The HTC First is the first device to feature Facebook Home and will be running a modified version of Android. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and director of product Adam Mosseri say they wanted to give “the best possible Facebook Home experience” on the HTC First. This involved modifying Android to add such features as email and calendar notifications.
From HTC Partner Manager Michael Goodwin:
“Yes, we had to implement some framework changes and some hooks to do the system notifications. All the things that could appear in your Android notification tray can appear within Facebook Home.”
However, Mosseri claims they didn’t fork Android, but instead “extended it” with HTC writing the necessary code. HTC president Jason Mackenzie wanted to provide a consistent experience, an experience that current Android users are familiar with. Yesterday, Facebook announced that Home is not exclusive to just one device, but will also work on select Android phones starting April 12. To make this possible, Home is a launcher that you’ll be able to download via Google Play.
While the changes aren’t significant, the HTC First will feature a version of Facebook Home slightly different from the version available to other smartphone users, especially given the optimizations. Will other manufacturers follow suit?