HTC and Facebook have unveiled the HTC First, the first phone to come preloaded with the new Facebook Home software. It will be available in the US from 12th April on AT&T, and in the UK on EE in the summer.
The HTC First is a mid-range device with a dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM and 4.3″ 720p display. It runs Android 4.1, although that will be largely hidden behind Facebook Home.
Home is an all-encompassing launcher that puts Facebook interactions at the very heart of the device, primarily status updates and the Facebook Messenger service (not to mention Facebook ads everntually, too).
Many of the common features of Android are relegated to the background – the home screen is now all Facebook, with no app icons or widgets (widgets are not supported at all) – while Facebook notifications can pop up on top of any running app.
Facebook Home will also be available from the Play Store from 12th April, for select devices including the HTC One and One X, and the Samsung Galaxy S III and S4. Those who install it will have the option to use Facebook Home either as a standard app or as the full launcher.
A version for tablets will be available at a later date.