Thursday, 7 April 2011

Is this a facebook phone or not?

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"U.K. stores are seeing the debut of the INQ Cloud Touch, the closest thing there is to a first official Facebook phone.

"Executives at the social media company have alternated between saying there is no official Facebook phone, denying specific tie-ins with mobile vendors like HTC, and saying that all mobile devices have the potential to be Facebook phones.

"But all of that amounts to rhetoric, compared to images like what you see to the right: the INQ homescreen is loaded with Facebook iconography."

User feedback was not impressed that this was a facebook phone. Firstly these images may simply from the long awaited good facebook app that must be coming sooner of later to mobile devices. Secondly facebook is certainly popular, but it lacks the flexibility of the app market in Android and iOS.

Facebook is trying to overcome the applications shortfall by beefing up its application framework, but it will be some time before people are routinely producing FBML solutions for the facebook canvas as they are writing Object C for iTunes. But it still makes sense that facebook would see itself as a new kind of OS and that a facebook smartphone could be very popular with young people in the near future. But the company is playing its cards close to its hand, and for now the facebook mobile experience is still pretty limited, which is making opportunities for Twitter, Yelp, Foursquare, Gowalla and other native smartphone apps that do a better job of geo-social.

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