Sat, Apr 06, 2013 - Page 15 News List

Facebook unveils Android ‘home’ suite

SOCIAL PHONE:Some analysts praised Facebook’s move as ‘groundbreaking,’ but others questioned the appeal of a phone that veils e-mail and other popular services

AFP, MENLO PARK, California

“We have a great relationship with Apple,” Zuckerberg said.

“Google is aware of what we are doing; we have talked to them... We are committed to doing our best on every platform,” he said.

Zuckerberg reasoned that since people spend significant chunks of their smartphone time at Facebook, improving the experience on Android handsets was a good thing for Google’s mobile operating system.

“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,” Zuckerberg said.

Some analysts questioned the broad appeal of a smartphone that veils e-mail, Google search and other commonly used services behind a Facebook curtain.

“Home provides a more intimate connection to Facebook; the issue for some is what other stuff you want to see on the screen that it is going to conceal,” Silicon Valley analyst Rob Enderle said.

“Clearly, Google is going to have an issue with Facebook monopolizing an Android phone,” he continued. “I think there is going to be a little drama.”

Home also raised questions about the privacy of posts shared by friends when messages or images pop up like slide shows for anyone nearby to see on smartphone homescreens.

Additional reporting by staff writer

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