It's not a phone, it's not an operating system. It's "Facebook Home", a sort of super-app for the latest versions of Android that puts Facebook on the home-screens of smartphones.
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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announces a new product for Android called Facebook Home during an event at Facebook headquarters yesterday in Menlo Park, California. AFP
Facebook introduces "Home"
Menlo Park, AFP Facebook has unveiled its own version of Android that puts the social network on the home screens of smartphones as it steps up its challenge to Apple and Google in the booming mobile market.
Chief executive Mark Zuckerberg said the new software weaves the social network into the home screen of HTC and Samsung phones powered by the latest versions of Android to focus experiences on "people and not apps".
"We're not building a phone and we're not building an operating system, but we are building something that's a lot deeper than an app," Zuckerberg told a gathering at the company's headquarters in Silicon Valley.
Facebook called the new software "a new way to turn your Android phone into a great, living, social phone".
The software, which allows users to see Facebook's "Cover Feed" when they turn on their phones, will be available for download from Google's online Play shop in the United States starting April 12, Zuckerberg said.
A version should be available in Europe in coming months, according to Facebook, which said it is in the process of tailoring "Home" for tablet computers.
Home will be available through Taiwan-based electronics firm HTC, which will launch its Facebook home-screen smartphone called HTC First, to be available through US carrier AT&T at a price of $100.
Zuckerberg demonstrated how a user would start with Facebook on the home screen and be able to navigate and switch back and forth between apps, and simultaneously send and receive messages through "chat heads" which are overlaid on the screen.
Facebook said no ads will be woven into social network feeds that appear automatically as home screen or lock-screen scenes but that they may in the future.
Facebook customized Home for Android-powered smartphones because the operating system made available free by Google can be openly tweaked by hardware makers as opposed to the tight grip Apple keeps on iPhone innards.
Zuckerberg was careful not to throw down overt challenges to Apple or Google.
"We have a great relationship with Apple," Zuckerberg said.
"Google is aware of what we are doing; we have talked to them," he added. "We are committed to doing our best on every platform."
Zuckerberg reasoned that since people spend an average of 20 per cent of their smartphone time at Facebook, improving the experience on Android handsets was a good thing for Google's mobile operating system.
"Every company that I know wakes up in the morning trying to build the best experience; and Google does too," Zuckerberg said.
"In a way, this can start to bring some of those high quality experiences you see on iPhones to Android, and that could be really good for Android."
The announcement comes with Facebook trying to connect more with mobile users, and – importantly – deliver more ads in the fast-growing segment.
The official Facebook advertisement introducing it's "Home":
headquarters – the place where an organisation or company has its main offices สำนักงานใหญ่ กองบัญชาการ
unveil – to show or introduce a new plan, product, etc. to the public for the first time เปิดเผย, ประกาศให้รู้ทั่วไป
version – a particular form of something which varies slightly from other forms of the same thing – ชุด, เวอร์ชั่น
social network – websites or other services on the internet for communication with people who share your interests เครือข่ายสังคม
step up – to increase เพิ่ม
challenge – an invitation or a suggestion to somebody that they should enter a competition, fight, etc การท้าทาย
booming – suddenly increasing in trade and economic activity เฟื่องฟู
weave – to put various things together to make a closely connected whole สาน, ถัก, เชื่อมต่อ
application (app) – a program designed to do a particular job; a piece of software โปรแกรมใช้งาน, โปรแกรมคอมพิวเตอร์
operating system – a set of programs that controls the way a computer works and runs other programs ระบบปฏิบัติการซึ่งควบคุมการทำงานของคอมพิวเตอร์
gathering – an occasion when many people come together as a group การรวมตัว, การประชุม
information (television programmes, news, etc.) that is sent out from a central source to other parts of a network
in the process – while carrying out a series of actions to do or make something ในกระบวนการ
tailor – to make something especially for a particular purpose ที่ทำขึ้นเฉพาะ
firm – a business or company บริษัท
launch – to start selling a new product or service to the public เริ่มวางขาย
carrier – a company that provides a telephone or Internet service
demonstrate – to show something and explain how it works สาธิต
navigate – to find and follow a path through a difficult place หาเส้นทาง
back and forth – from one place to another and back again repeatedly ไปๆ มาๆ, กลับไปกลับมา
simultaneously – happening at the same time ในเวลาเดียวกัน,ที่พร้อมกัน
overlay – to put something on top of a surface so as to cover it completely; to lie on top of a surface วางทับ, ทับ, ปิดคลุม
lock-screen – a display on a locked phone, computer, etc. that shows information such as images, time and date, and certain apps
customise – to make or change something to suit the needs of the owner ทำตามความต้องการของเจ้าของหรือผู้ซื้อ
tweak – to make slight changes to a machine, system, etc. to improve it ปรับเปลี่ยเล็กน้อย
as opposed to – different from แตกต่างจาก
grip – control or power over somebody/something กำกับดูแล
innards – the parts inside a machine กลไกภายในเครื่อง, อุปกรณ์ภายในเครื่อง
overt – not hidden or secret ชัดเจน, โจ่งแจ้ง
aware – to know that something exists, or to have knowledge or experience of a particular thing ทราบ
committed –willing to give your time and energy to something that you believe in ยึดมั่น
platform – the type of computer system, communication system or the software that is used
average – an amount calculated by adding several amounts together, finding a total, and dividing the total by the number of amounts เฉลี่ย, ค่าเฉลี่ย
(market) segment – a particular part of a market for a product ส่วนตลาด
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