Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Facebook Android Cellphones Handhelds Privacy Social Networks Hardware Your Rights Online

New Facebook-Branded Android Coming? 112

Posted by timothy
from the oh-did-you-want-those-calls-chronologically? dept.
Earthquake Retrofit writes "The Register reports that 'Facebook has sent out invitations to an event at its Menlo Park headquarters next week that many believe will see the launch of a new, Facebook-branded smartphone...' I have lately become disillusioned with Google having so much power over my phone and the usual privacy concerns, so this announcement means I now have a choice. Oh, wait..."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

New Facebook-Branded Android Coming?

Comments Filter:
  • So, (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Georules (655379) on Friday March 29, 2013 @10:55PM (#43316301)
    who actually wants this?
    • TWEENS!! (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Bananatree3 (872975)
      Seriously though, any young teen who's already Facebook obsessed probably wouldn't think twice....not like some graybeard's privacy concerns matter (until they're that age, sigh..)
      • by ackthpt (218170)

        Seriously though, any young teen who's already Facebook obsessed probably wouldn't think twice....not like some graybeard's privacy concerns matter (until they're that age, sigh..)

        Might be useful if (horrors) your child is abducted -- they'll know every business they go past.

      • Re:TWEENS!! (Score:4, Insightful)

        by hedwards (940851) on Friday March 29, 2013 @11:56PM (#43316503)

        I'm sure that MS thought the same thing about the Kin when they tried that. Didn't work out so well, I'd be surprised if a FB themed item did very well.

    • by ackthpt (218170)

      who actually wants this?

      I find the Facebook interface on the web to be poorly thought out and composed. I can't imagine the phone would be an improvement. Particularly paying these loafers for their phone. Never mind they'll probably track everywhere you go and everything you say will be scanned for products and businesses. Sounds like not just a bad idea, but a horrible one.

      • by Nerdfest (867930)

        Their Android application was worse. When I dropped off FaceBook (effectively) this was a big reason why. I was a resource hogging, battery sucking piece of crap with a lousy interface. I think the only people that do a worse Android app might be Rogers Communications. FaceBook has treated Android like a second-class citizen for years ... strange that they'd use it as a base for their phone after their handling of it to date.

        • by rwa2 (4391) *

          Yeah, Facebook is one of the few apps I don't install on any of my Android devices. I'm generally pretty lax with my private info... However, it's one thing for an app to upload all of my behavior and info to a website, but an app that uploads the personal info of all of the people in my addressbook to their database and actively pimps it out to the rest of my acquaintances... that's a bit more responsibility than I'm prepared to take.

        • The app on Android was abysmal at best. I couldn't properly shut it down(not sure how it kept restarting itself with no input). I would have to go into the settings window and manually kill the task every couple hours or it would start up and 'sync' something(even after I told it not to sync anything). It would also turn on notifications randomly every couple days even after I disabled them. I have since removed it and canceled my FB account(fuck FB, seriously, what a waste of time).

          Hands-down the absolute

          • Re:So, (Score:5, Informative)

            by digitalchinky (650880) <dtchky@gmail.com> on Saturday March 30, 2013 @01:15AM (#43316739)

            Lots of apps latch on to a myriad of system events so they can relaunch themselves - some are fairly obscene in how they go about this.

            One good solution is to install "Autorun Manager" - it allows you to disable the receivers on a per application basis. Once you kill something, it stays dead until you explicitly start it again.

            • by w0mprat (1317953)

              Lots of apps latch on to a myriad of system events so they can relaunch themselves - some are fairly obscene in how they go about this.

              One good solution is to install "Autorun Manager" - it allows you to disable the receivers on a per application basis. Once you kill something, it stays dead until you explicitly start it again.

              Also recommend using the app freeze feature in Android. Requires root on most devices but this useful trick "Freezes" an app without actually uninstalling it, it becomes invisible to the system and cannot execute. Some apps like App Quarantine, Titanium Backup and Hide It Pro offer a convenient way of doing this. This means you can have Facebook or some such app, but prevent it from running when you aren't directly using it.

        • Re:So, (Score:5, Insightful)

          by symbolset (646467) * on Saturday March 30, 2013 @12:41AM (#43316657) Journal
          Microsoft has a significant investment in Facebook. It's kind of like Netflix avoiding Android right up until they just couldn't anymore - and then Netflix founder and CEO Reed Hastings leaving Microsoft's board of directors shortly thereafter to "focus on his own company's needs".
        • Re:So, (Score:5, Funny)

          by worf_mo (193770) on Saturday March 30, 2013 @01:54AM (#43316811)

          I was a resource hogging, battery sucking piece of crap with a lousy interface.

          Don't worry, we all went through this phase called adolescence. Work on your interface and keep your head up!

        • I was a resource hogging, battery sucking piece of crap with a lousy interface.

          But you got better?

        • by jseale (691367)
          Not to mention that the Facebook app gets bigger and bigger in size every time it's updated with a new feature. Heck! It's too big for most entry-level phones now (one of which I have, an LG Optimus T). If I want to have Facebook AND Twitter access on my phone, I have to use a two-in-one app. None of those are all that good.
      • The facebook UI is not intended to be usable it is intended to be entertaining.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      You could ask the same about Facebook itself,yet, hundreds of millions of people seem to want it.

      Go figure.

      • Re:So, (Score:5, Interesting)

        by ackthpt (218170) on Saturday March 30, 2013 @01:10AM (#43316727) Homepage Journal

        You could ask the same about Facebook itself,yet, hundreds of millions of people seem to want it.

        Go figure.

        And before Facebook there was something called MySpace, which was a worse interface. When Google, or maybe Yahoo, gets their sh*t together, they could come up with a much better interface and kill off Facebook. Honestly, it wouldn't take a lot.

        • by Gordonjcp (186804)

          Now would be a good time, too, because they've just changed the page layouts again and people are moaning about it.

          If you want to get customers to jump ship (and yes, you are a paying customer; you pay with information like geotagging restaurants and shops you visit) then bring along a better product right at the point where people are starting to dislike what they already use, and make the transition quick and painless. "Hi, sign up for Placescroll and import all your facebook data *for free*!" and give t

    • by s.petry (762400)

      who actually wants this?

      Probably a very very small percentage of people. However, given the current desire to track everyone and snoop on what everyone does, these will be crammed down everyone's throats. Facebook popularity has been dropping steadily. Not for the reasons I hope (privacy) but because Facebook is stale and old news. Facebook bloomed when MySpace tanked (and of course was part of the cause). Facebook has no competition, and none will be allowed to compete unless it can do all of the same poor (and I don't mean f

    • by thegarbz (1787294)

      Everybody I think.

      One of the best selling phones in my country before the iPhone came out actually had a Facebook button, yes a whole button dedicated to it. Never under-estimate what will appeal to the non-slashdot crowd.

      • One of the best selling phones in my country before the iPhone came out actually had a Facebook button, yes a whole button dedicated to it.

        Because people wanted it, or because Facebook paid to have it put there?

        • by thegarbz (1787294)

          Why do the two have to be mutually exclusive?

          Also given this was an era before Facebook had a clue what happened in the mobile world I'm inclined to believe that the money was paid TO Facebook to put it there.

      • by Georules (655379)
        That phone was a complete flop and laughed at in the United States.
    • It might be helpful here to know that Microsoft was an early investor in Facebook, and retains a significant stake.
    • by w0mprat (1317953)

      who actually wants this?

      Yeah, because almost nobody uses Facebook. Only 1 in 7 humans alive use Facebook, that's merely a Billion people*.

      Clearly there's no market for this.

      • by Georules (655379)
        Just because I use a YouTube website, doesn't mean I would also want a YouTube-based TV.
  • The worst thing (Score:4, Insightful)

    by bobstreo (1320787) on Friday March 29, 2013 @10:56PM (#43316309)

    It will probably be one of the only qwerty keyboarded android phones available.

    • You know, except the Moto Droid line...which also happens to be the best Android phone line in production.

      • by tangent3 (449222)

        Too bad there hasn't been a new Droid phone for a while, and it's worse for us Milestone lovers outside of the US.
        I've been waiting for a new Milestone to replace my Milestone 2, but gave up and bought an LG Optimus G instead, and found that I can survive without a qwerty keyboard.

    • by Nemyst (1383049)
      If the hardware actually is interesting, you'll be able to root and install your favorite ROM a month after release, tops. You'd still have the facebook branding on the hardware though...
    • My Android devices have no trouble switching between US, Scandinavian, and pinyin keyboard modes.

      Can you not get anything newer than Cupcake over there?

      • I think GP means a physical keyboard. I've seen them called "qwerty keyboards" all over the place, which is of course silly.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 29, 2013 @10:59PM (#43316317)

    Hilarious, a lot of the creepy Google privacy concerns are there because they've seen how far Facebook pushes the envelope and think they can too.

    I'm under no doubt Facebooks phone will be sending constant tracking data to Facebook and they'll sell that data to anyone who wants it for any reason, and simply bury some button down in the privacy settings that defaults to consent.

    • by l3v1 (787564)
      "and simply bury some button down in the privacy settings that defaults to consent"

      Neh, nothing like that, just a popup at the first powerup saying "I forever agree to everything in the daily changing terms of service" with two buttons, OK and "I agree". Not that it would matter, anyone who would buy a Facebook phone would not loose a second's sleep over that.
      • by hedwards (940851)

        That's an improvement over the current system for services where they regularly change the ToS and EULAs and don't leave you with a viable opt out that doesn't include having to deal with the massive PITA that is moving your data, assuming you're even permitted to download it.

        • by BitZtream (692029)

          An improvement? His option doesn't give an opt out method either, just a way to deceive those who aren't paying attention into thinking they have one. And you apparently walked right into their deception and paid for it in full.

    • Hilarious, a lot of the creepy Google privacy concerns are there because they've seen how far Facebook pushes the envelope and think they can too.

      I don't think Google is a "We can too" operation, they've done pushed past the envelope many times.

      Google already has their own "Android", the Motorola Xoom 3G/4G sold by Verizon. While it can be used as a phone,
      I imagine that function used mostly for video chatting.

      Another version of the Xoom is just a tablet no 3G/4G, which I have. Normally one would log into Google and stay logged in.
      Those with security concerns like myself log in only when needed then log out when done.
      Going one better I also disable th

    • I use bing now. sadly, it's not as good. but google is just going bad. I actually believe MS when they do the scroogled ads. I'm not saying they are more privacy conscious out of the goodness of their heart, but I believe they see it as a wedge issue and will stick to it for now it least. Needless to say I don't facebook either.

      • by tuppe666 (904118) on Saturday March 30, 2013 @01:28AM (#43316755)

        http://www.microsoft.com/privacystatement/en-gb/bing/default.aspx [microsoft.com]

        "We collect information when you register, sign in and use our sites and services. We may also get information from other companies. We collect this information in a variety of ways, including from web forms, technologies such as cookies, web logging and software on your computer or other device.

        When you conduct a search, Microsoft collects the following:

                Search term and time and date of your search
                IP address, browser configuration and approximate location
                Any unique identifiers contained in the cookies"

        and...

        "we may use search query data for the purpose of personalising the ads we display to you as you use our services or those of our advertising partners."

        and...

        "Using our sites, applications and services - We collect information that tells us how you interact with our applications or services, including the browser you’re using, your IP address, location, cookies or other unique IDs, the pages you visit and features you use.
        Data from other sources - We may get additional information about you, such as demographic data we purchase from other companies. As discussed in the Facebook Personalization section below, we may also obtain certain information from Facebook to enable personalization features."

        We all know here than Microsoft is using a Double standard here, and is a more oppressive company.

  • I'm sure folks at Google are filled with anxiety. You see, with Microsoft as a Facebook investor and Android being "open", Google products could be replaced with Microsoft's very easily. And that can't be good. Remember, we're addressing over a billion human beings at Facebook.

    • Except for the problem that none of MS's offerings could possibly installed on a low yo medium end smart device.

    • I'm sure folks at Google are filled with anxiety. You see, with Microsoft as a Facebook investor and Android being "open", Google products could be replaced with Microsoft's very easily. And that can't be good. Remember, we're addressing over a billion human beings at Facebook.

      Google are too busy laughing their asses off right now. Microsoft...you might not have noticed, although I'm somewhat surprised, with their astronomical advertising budget. Have their own Windows Phone OS, its not very popular...but it has very little going for it, facebook was one of those things its what they paid for. Microsoft also have been pushing the idea of third platform (I'm not convinced either), but Facebook sound more credible than Microsoft.

      Apple have already cut back their facebook integratio

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by fermion (181285)
      It is said that people are buying samsung phones, not google phones, so if Facebook can talk the android stack, take out the google assets, and put facebook tracking, then yes google will have competition and something to worry about. Facebook is at a disadvantage because it does not have a mobile profile. Google is at an advantage because millions of users are paying it to track and collect personal data that it can then sell. Millions of users are learning that the web is not google, as it so clearly w
      • It is said that people are buying samsung phones, not google phones

        No people are buying Android (Which is Googles first Party Applications) phones...and Samsung make some best one [and advertise them successfully] , we have already seen HTC which rose on the back of Android, and fell from grace, because of successful *competition* from Samsung. For Samsung to cut Android (and its value) out of that equation its quite difficult. I suspect they will make a more serious push with Tizen.

      • by Nerdfest (867930)

        They also have a great mail experience, and one of the best data-sync implementations around. Calendars scheduling and sharing is pretty well done too. Google-drive is very nice, and probably under-used by most for what it's capable of. Reader was nice ... I'm going to miss that. I rarely use Google maps myself, and MS has a decent mapping capability, although I haven't tried it on a phone. I think It'd be pretty easy to go Google-free on a smart phone if you have only a single device, but if you have multi

      • by Sir_Sri (199544)

        Facebook is at a disadvantage because it does not have a mobile profile.

        Facebook is at a disadvantage because it doesn't have a foundry or any hardware fab facilities. For facebook to have a facebook branded phone they need to go to companies that make android phones and ask them to make one with a facebook logo on it.

        One of the things that has happened is that western design firms who were outsourcing production to Asia suddenly got cut out of the process when those companies decided to make their own damn phone. Facebook would be trying to enter into that market in the abs

    • by s.petry (762400)

      There are not a billion humans on Facebook, sorry but that is absolutely wrong (though I don't doubt someone has posted that stat and that you believed it). There may be a billion accounts, but wholly shit man, use your head! A large portion of those accounts are people that quit using Facebook, but of course still count in the stats since their data is never deleted. A huge chunk of those accounts are businesses, not people. Some people may have 4-5 businesses so 4-5 facebook accounts (think Authors, A

      • citation needed. x10 or so.

        Seriously. I've been to both countries, and I think you're making shit up.

        • by psiclops (1011105)

          China's Internet Users Cross 500 Million (article from January 2012) [pcworld.in]

          At the end of December, the country had 513 million Internet users...This puts the country's total Internet penetration at 38.3 percent...Analysts, however, have said the statistics provided by the CNNIC are inflated. The CNNIC defines users as people, ages 6 and above, who have connected to the Internet in the past six months.

          so it's probably above 10%. but also probably lower than you would have expected.

          Seriously. I've been to both countries, and I think you're making shit up.

          i'm guessing you've been to some areas of both countries and thus witnessed what life is like for a small percentage of their total populations.
          hell even in my own country my experience would tell me there are a lot more internet users than there actually are - that's because i experience a very small subsection of what life is like in my country.

      • by jez9999 (618189)

        but wholly shit man

        LOL

    • Human beings? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 30, 2013 @12:39AM (#43316649)

      " Remember, we're addressing over a billion human beings at Facebook."

      http://www.socialbakers.com/facebook-statistics/united-states

      I think that's unlikely, Facebooks users represent 71% of US internet users... which is basically impossible, more likely 20% accounts, 20% fake accounts, 20% dead accounts, 11% robots.

      Similar problem with their UK numbers, they claim 29 million active users... out of 43 million UK Internet users. Unlikely.

      I'm kind of suspicious of FB, their numbers don't add up and they keep getting caught and admitting a little bit of their scams.

      e.g. The 'likes' problem, BBC has researched quite a few of these games. e.g. their virtual bagel company seemed to be getting fake likes from the advert despite doing nothing at all, and being a fake company:
      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-18870170

      Or the US researcher who spotted they were incrementing likes for comments:
      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-19832043

      Why would they need to do that if they have 71% of Internet users???? Dodgy.

      So they'll come out with a phone that does Facebook (that would be all phones now), with Microsoft services (Bing etc.) yet that's what the Nokia phone is and its not selling, so why would FB's? I'm sure the phones Facebook page will get a lot of likes mind you!

    • I think you're confusing a billion pages and 'users' with a billion actual people. There is nowhere near a billion people using Facebook. I would wager that there is maybe half a billion actual, real people who use it. The rest are interest pages and duplicate accounts. I know several people who have multiple accounts of their own, and a few who actually have dozens to spam likes and comment blasts for fun and profit.

      Google would not benefit from the use of Android in this phone. Likewise, they won't lose i

    • by oztiks (921504)

      I wouldn't be too worried if I were Google.

      The only reason why Facebook needs this because it has no real mobile monetization plan in place. What this is supposed to do is bring mobile share across to Facebook so they can sell ad space, however, the struggles are numerous and to just touch on a few we only have to look at what other companies have had to fair over the past 5 years.

      So consider this how much money are they going to spend in tandem with the likelihood that a dwindling Chinese manufacturer such

  • Aren't they a couple years late on this front?
    • Aren't they a couple years late on this front?

      Really they are doing this post IPO which is kind of why they did it, and their is still an awful lot of dumbphone to smartphone comparison, and Apples mark share is shrinking; Microsoft if failing to prove itself the third ecosystem(sic); No other serious competition [although lots of it]. The only thing they have missed out on, is I suspect they could have converted those feeing blackberry users faster than Apple or Google.

      ...but the market is wide open, especially for a Android compatible phone.

  • They call it "ecosystem", but "Walled Garden" or "Prison" is a more apt term. They're not selling hardware; they're selling a gift-that-keeps-on-giving... to the seller. An Iphone (that isn't jailbroken) can only buy apps from Apple's approved store, with Apple getting its 30% cut. MS and Google and FB etc, etc want in on that scheme.

  • by RubberDogBone (851604) on Saturday March 30, 2013 @01:01AM (#43316705)

    FB has to try this because the media says they do, and thus, so do their investors. And when it flops, because it will, this will be the final step in FB's rise to prominence and the first media -identified step on their path to being the next Myspace.

    Besides... HTC? Really? That's like betting your future on a brand that may cease to exist any moment. What is FB thinking? Maybe they can blame any flop on the poor choice of partner.

    • by Osgeld (1900440)

      its probably real cheap n easy to talk HTC into doing something that has a glimmer of hope

  • by Master Of Ninja (521917) on Saturday March 30, 2013 @03:21AM (#43317005)
    While I think a lot of people would want this and buy this (the facebook addicts who are constantly posting that is), Facebookstrikes me as the web company with the worst outlook to privacy out of the lot. They seem to change their T&Cs to suit them and only apologise when they are caught in something nefarious.

    The problem is that (I cannot see) a useful alternative. Facebook and Google have integrated themselves so into the general internet that even Slashdot seems to have Google and Facebook login options. Google seems to be slightly better with regards to privacy, but their recent actions have made me actually switch from Chrome back to Firefox. I've even started investigating moving some of my 'services' to smaller brands, running services on my Synology NAS, or even thinking of hosting my own virtual server for privacy.

    I even found an extension called Ghostery [ghostery.com] which disables advert tracking in Firefox and it is quite astounding how much tracking gets done on the internet. Whilst I appreciate you can't get something for nothing, we (as a society) seem to now throw our privacy more and more out the window without realising the implications. Facebook's alledged phone is just another nail in the coffin of our privacy.
    • by bmalia (583394)
      I have gone the opposite direction. I put everything in the google cloud now, and just purchased a chromebook to get easy access to it.
  • Everyday these kind of news get more and more hilarious.Soon the owner of the coffee shop accross the street will make his own smartphone brand.(Because an app was too mainstream)
    • Everyday these kind of news get more and more hilarious.Soon the owner of the coffee shop accross the street will make his own smartphone brand.(Because an app was too mainstream)

      Except a Facebook phone was inevitable; Of the "Pack of four" only Amazon is yet to release a kindle phone that is a done deal, Microsoft don't have a surface phone yet, and that is inevitable [once there is only patents to pick from Nokias Carcass]. Other than that its the same electronics companies that have been around for years. There are a few competing Linux based OS's but those are going to be whittled down very quickly.

      • by koan (80826)

        "There are a few competing Linux based OS's but those are going to be whittled down very quickly."

        Like android?

  • If you're on Facebook they already have facial data, retina data, associations, extremely accurate psych profile and now you can let them track and store your position with a phone and get a voice sample too.
    Maybe they will include a free fingerprint scanner app in the for "security".

  • Personally I'm really fed up with the way my android behaves. Compared with Windows and a pre installed IE, that phone is a nightmare. I wouldn't know where to begin the list of pre installed SHIT that you can't remove.
    Also. What would you do with your computer if suddenly after an update, your whole system behaves differently.
    On, when YOU want to install an other OS, then ok. But this feels like some ass telling me I need a different OS and pushes it down my throat.

    So: No thanks.

    • It's no different from the preinstalled Windows crap -- it comes from the manufacturer and sponsoring companies (including the cell provider), not the OS itself. I believe it can be removed by rooting the device -- I *know* it can be by replacing the crappy built-in bloated copy of Android with a good alternative distribution like Cyanogenmod. Even that's really no different from having to install a standalone copy of Windows in order to get rid of some of the more persistent junk, except in Windows it of

A CONS is an object which cares. -- Bernie Greenberg.

Working...