back to article Smartphone running 'Facebook OS' said to debut this week

Facebook has sent out invitations to an event at its Menlo Park headquarters this week that many believe will see the launch of a new, Facebook-branded smartphone – and an Amazon phone may not be far behind. Facebook's invites themselves were fairly cryptic. "Come See Our New Home on Android" was all they said, along with the …

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Unhappy

Why would a sane person buy one?

"...brand-new fork of Android that places special emphasis on Facebook's social services..."

As it's Farcebook, does that mean its users will be well and truly forked.

A.FB based phone is wrong on so many levels.

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FAIL

Faddy, played out

This is like chocolate flavoured Philadelphia cheese spread.

What a complete pile of poo!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Why would a sane person buy one?

This presumably means more IP income for Microsoft and Nokia, seeing as lots of things in Android are based on their patented tech innovations....I wonder if Facebook already negotiated licences?

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FAIL

Re: Why would a sane person buy one?

... bit like a full frontal lobotomy ...

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Meh

Re: Why would a sane person buy one?

Why do people install apps on their smartphones that replicate a web page? There are many bizarre choices that users make.

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Re: Why would a sane person buy one?

Because they are tired of their Win8 phone ??? Oh, you said SANE .... sorry.

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Meh

Re: Why would a sane person buy one?

Why? There are enough self-important Facebook users out there who think the unimportant, boring, uninteresting minutiae of their sad lives must be shared with the world. To them the pinnacle of smartphones would be a Facebook phone, in their minds this phone gives them affirmation, that they are important to the rest the Universe. Their circle of friends will of course coo and fawn over them and aspire and covet such a phone, thus increasing their own self-importance.

An Amazon phone on the other hand would probably be cheap to buy, cheap to run, cheap to replace Nd come with free delivery on all purchases. Not something you'd want to get out at the pub though.

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Mushroom

Re: Faddy, played out

A mobile OS totally focused around Facebook - PLUS...

Your mobile browsing history, private emails, Amazon purchases, photos taken, music played, etc. - PLUS...

...Facebook's famous attitude towards "privacy".

What could possibly go wrong???

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Boffin

Re: Why would a sane person buy one?

FB is trying hard to remain relevant as more and more users tyre of the worlds largest self-enrolling marketing pool IMO.

I can't say I blame (FB) them for trying to further entrench themselves in peoples lives, as its a way to remain relevant.. I'm sure there will be some fools...err followers that will bite, but as a non-Fbooker, I pass for the same reason I'll never own an IDevice. I prefer to use as open a system as I can. Google does offer lots of services, but I get to opt out any I wish and I still prefer making up my own mind, as opposed to letting some company tell me how its going to be.

for example: I'm able to stream all my music from my homeserver without the need to have any company (apple/google) host/control my content. Subsonic lets you stream music (even movies) without commercials/ads for a single one time donation (fee) and no need to upload any content like Google Play.

There are alternative solutions out there, if you're willing to look.

Best wishes,

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Re: Why would a sane person buy one?

I want nothing to do with Facebook, or anything else of their easily hacked crap. You must be mad, nay, insane to have such an addiction.

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Re: Why would a sane person buy one?

I would rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy.......

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Gives a whole new meaning to "Insta(nt)Gram"...

Gives a whole new meaning to "Insta(nt)Gram"...

FaceGram? InstaBook, anyone?

A new world of "telegram" activity. Imagine the looks on the faces of Bell, Edison, and others from way back when if they could be reanimated to face today's world. Imagine now rich they'd be if they were alive to reap patents that might have flowed -- assuming US Patent laws were different.

FB will probably have a real-time, live-streaming camera server running with the messenger/chat feature embedded, enabling almost-live global image-feeding. Now, the news papers might be able to make money getting right-of-first-refusal access to fb users' photos. Wouldn't be too bad a deal as long as the photo authors get nice compensation, and maybe royalties, too, if the papers want to own the photo and all rights to the photo.

The papers probably won't even have to increase staff too much, either, since FB and other companies have object recognition, meaning news papers and even intel agencies might want to remote-command snapping of locales by random cameras since they can access or tease out the location of the phone. If so, expect some countries to REALLY clamp down on FB if they are paranoid...

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Portmanteau

Dear El Reg, if Facebook do indeed release their own Smartmobe, might I humbly request that you refer to it forevermore as the Fartmobe?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Portmanteau

No, don't do that.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Portmanteau

In other news, website The Register releases its own phone... Apps include a unit converter.

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Happy

Re: Portmanteau

... and it is rumored that the Register phone will come with Engish replacing Slangish (used in its regular edition)

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Will nobody think of the programmers

While most sane people agree that monopolies are a bad thing, fragmentation by forking cannot be good for the market. Testing apps for a smartphones/tablets will be so involved that developers will be forced out of the market or end up prducing software that only mostly works some of the time.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Will nobody think of the programmers

I think Android is waaay past that now!

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Re: Will nobody think of the programmers

"developers will be forced out of the market or end up prducing software that only mostly works some of the time."

My god yes. Isn't it just so wonderful that the PC has been so unified for the past 30-odd years?

As for a Facebook phone... unfortunately no developers will get another rating or review from me specifically because of the Plus requirement to do so now. If I wanted a Facebook account, I'd get a Facebook account.

Maybe the phone will be useful to some people, but.. no thanks.

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Re: Will nobody think of the programmers

> fragmentation by forking cannot be good for the market.

It is called variety and choice. Choice is good for the consumers, which is why Android leads the market.

One OS vendor wants their OS to be identical from every OEM. That limits choice. That is not good for the market, as shown by the market share that it has.

> Testing apps for a smartphones/tablets will be so involved that developers will be forced out of the market or end up prducing software that only mostly works some of the time.

What complete nonsense. Most apps will run on any fork, it is only the Google branded stuff that gets removed. Developers may choose to only support vanilla Android, or may choose to use Google specific stuff, such as maps, and thus not run on facebook, or could use Facebook specific stuff and thus only be in the Facebook app store. It is called _choice_. Or they could do both.

There is a large enough base of users, and a large enough base of apps to not worry the developers or the users.

Using your argument then 'forking' Windows into Starter, Home, Professional, Ultimate, Server, Enterprise, Home Server, etc "cannot be good for the market" and "developers will be forced out".

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Will nobody think of the programmers

@Richard Plinston. I have a business developing across both iOS and Android. I can tell you for sure you're right that with a large enough market developers won't go away. But you couldn't be more wrong in your comparison of Android to Windows and trivialising the extent of the problem. We're allocating our test budget for Android has to be many multiples the budget for iOS. The problem is every small difference makes a very big difference to the number of tests that have to be run - you haven't said this, but it's often said by others that the various flavours of Android are "almost the same." Well that phrase hides a huge number of cases and headaches when it comes to testing.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Will nobody think of the programmers

Is that why the Orange versions of otherwise nice phones are so shite?

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Devil

Re: @M Gale (29/03 23:57)

" If I wanted a Facebook account, I'd get a Facebook account."

Likewise - but I'd expect my family to have me sectioned well before I actually did it.

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Re: Will nobody think of the programmers

Upvoted.

...for coming clean and posting a candid and concise comment that removes all doubt that its author is a fuckwit.

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Why will Google let HTC do this ? (When Acer was going to do the same thing they made them back off - this is potentially far worse as it is not for a China specific device).

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Go

Open Handset Alliance

Amazon is not a member. Acer is. That is the difference. Members agree not to make incompatible forks, among other things. And they get benefits. Obviously Acer had briefly forgot that minor detail, and it is all straight now.

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Depends on what they remove or replace.

Sony Ericsson manage to infest their devices with FaceBook integration and multiple FB apps, multiple Sony owned app stores, customise many default apps and reskin the UI. But they remove nothing Google cares about - maps is still there, the Play Store is still preinstalled and so on.

Nokia rejected Android because G wouldn't let them *replace* Google Maps. At the time Orange had no problems shipping devices with their own maps app prominently displayed along with the full G package - crucially including G Maps.

It's so easy to replace or modify key parts of the system you don't even need to fork to heavily customise Android. That said I expect FB will fork to ensure they capture as much profit as possible. With every app store containing the same apps it wont be too hard populating a shiny new FB version and they won't even need to pressure devs to include FB support since every damn app I see seems infected already.

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Holmes

Re:

>"Why will Google let HTC do this ?"

Because Google doesn't make much profit through the play store. And even if it's a Facebook or Amazon phone, Google will still get all the search, maps, gmail, youtube, etc - which is where they actually make money on mobile.

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"Why will Google let HTC do this ?"

Because they don't have any choice. HTC have signed up with the Android handset alliance. Not Facebook. Google can stop HTC Forking Android if they wish to remain a member if the Alliance. But they can't, through the alliance, stop HTC being a hardware supplier to Facebook because that would get them a fast track referral to the FTC for anti-competitive practice. Threatening HTC with losing membership of the Alliance for supplying a competitor would be as clear a breach of the law as if they were to threaten the same if a member were to produce Windows or Tizen phones.

What is more interesting to me is that it's now clear that Google have lost control of the Android brand (it can be and is often used without referral to Google's legal dept), and that despite this loss of control (or perhaps because of it) most suppliers are moving away from referring to Android, what does Facebook's referral to Android mean in terms if the extent of collaboration between Facebook and Google? I guess we will find out soon.

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Who wants to bet sharing is not only really easy when you want to but almost impossible to avoid when you don't?

Now in some respects there's not a lot of difference between Facebook and Google they both want to own us much of your data as possible. However Google want to sell an anonomised version to advertisers Facebook want to do that but also plaster it all over your wall as well.

Can see there being a one click to post to wall icon which is very easily pressed when using your phone for something you would prefer to keep private. Especially if as expected its like every other phone out there which is a slab that's all screen. Far too easy to hit the wrong thing on screen and can see a lot of accidents happening this way. If nothing else expect to see the amount of posts on Lamebook increase dramatically.

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Trollface

Yeah, but...

Will these run Google+ and Twitter?

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Anonymous Coward

How Mobe Makers Make Money

Interesting split between how the various manufacturers make their money...

Facebook & Google are mostly about advertising, and collecting as much info about you as possible to improve the value of those adverts.

Microsoft is all about software, selling that to other companies to make the actual phones.

Samsung & Apple (+HTC, etc) are mostly about selling hardware (though Apple arguably are fully integrated software + hardware + services).

Amazon... well I guess they want you to use their devices to buy content from them, which is where they make most money.

Of those, Facebook & Google are definitely least appealing, though along with Amazon are likely to be cheaper up-front to get you in.

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Re: How Mobe Makers Make Money

> Microsoft is all about software,

No. Wrong. Microsoft is also about collecting data and targeting advertising.

> https://advertising.microsoft.com/splitter

"""Reach your audience through MSN, Xbox, and Skype"""

"""Find out how our insights and data can help increase your ROI"""

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Re: How Mobe Makers Make Money

Unlike Google, less than 1% of their gross revenue comes from advertising though. Therefore Microsoft can do things like enabling DNT header by default in Internet Explorer, which is one of the thing Google will never do with their browsers.

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and que the eletists that know it all....

the thing with this, is that if somebody plans on making a facebook phone then they believe there is a market for it.... and there probably is.....

there are a lot of people that buy expensive phones and all they do is go on facebook anyway, so why not produce a phone that just has all the functions of facebook and sell it cheap, if not give it away with a 18 month data tariff?

Its not something I would buy, but there are quite a few people that use facebook that I know would use this...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: and que the eletists that know it all....

Speaking of elitists, is that cue or queue?

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Re: and que the eletists that know it all....

Cue the French elitists to from a queue in front of the microphone, to say "Que?"

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Boffin

Re: and que the eletists that know it all....

Que (in French) means "That".

An interrogative - ¿Qué? - is Spanish.

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Ugh

I constantly wish I could get Facebook OFF of my phone. I can't even fathom why anyone would want an entirely FB based OS....

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Paris Hilton

Re: Ugh

>"I constantly wish I could get Facebook OFF of my phone."

What kind of phone do you have that you can't get rid of Facebook? That and Twitter were the first things to go to the trash on my phone. If I recall, the icons wouldn't delete on my old Crackberry, but I just made them invisible and didn't worry about them - they weren't taking any real space on the system.

Paris - because we are both confused, and we both miss our Crackberry's.

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FAIL

Re: Ugh

Who is really so addicted to Facebook that they are willing to go on a two year contract and be stuck with a Facebook-centric phone? I don't call people on my Facebook list. I don't even have them lumped into my current phone's phone book. Given the privacy concerns with Facebook as it is, who's really going to buy into this? They won't sell as many of these as Microsoft and Blackberry has of theirs. This is going to be a huge failure for Facebook.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Ugh

My now bricked HTC Sensation ran Android 2.3. It had FarceBook and Twatter apps (and others) that couldn't be removed.

There are other builds of Android where these 'essential' apps can't be removed.

I bricked it trying to get a Cyanogen build onto it. Sigh. That's life.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Ugh

Imagine Facebook taking over your camera and continually uploading spy pics to FB HQ. G+ is bad enough

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Ugh

But everyone knows that any issues with android are fixed by putting on your own image which is so simple your gran can do it.

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Pint

Re: Ugh

"No one ever went broke underestimating the taste of the American public."

H.L. Mencken

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Ugh

Too right. The FB app is by far the #1 most likely app on my phone to crash too. I typically use the browser and visit their web site when I want to look at my lolcats, rather than use their terrible app. An entire OS? It'll be the next Microsoft Kin. I may have checked to see if this was an April Fools joke, but it's not funny, and the dateline says it was a few days ago.

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Anonymous Coward

Good lord no

"Facebook OS?" Kill it with fire!

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Re: Good lord no

> "Facebook OS?" Kill it with fire!

I can understand why you wouldn't want one, but why would you care if others would want to buy it ? What harm does it do to you ?

It is almost like you want to reduce choice so that, perhaps, they _have_ to buy what you have chosen to suit your needs.

Do Nissan owners want to blow up Toyotas ?

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Joke

Re: Good lord no

Nah... The Nissan owners are ganging up together with the Toyota owners to blow up Subarus.

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