Facebook phone appeals to social media-holics
Published: Monday, April 22, 2013 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, April 19, 2013 at 4:07 p.m.
So Facebook has entered the smartphone race, and all I can do is ask, why? Actually, I know why — the shark always gets jumped so to speak, so in that regard all I can really do is celebrate the absurdity.
Just to catch you up, Facebook has teamed up with handset-maker HTC to make an Android-powered smartphone with a Facebook-themed interface. Surely we have an app for that, but this iteration actually brings photos, status updates and profile pics right to your home screen. The name? You guessed it, “Home.” That's because you're not safe, even in your “home” from memes, rants and lewd photos.
Can you imagine loaning your boss or even your mother your phone to make a call and when they hit the home button, some creepy photo appears from an old friend who shares from even creepier friends. With the massive size of screens these days, that can be way more pixels than you want Mama to think you're peeking at.
One of the other aspects that would drive me nuts is that when posts randomly appear, they are accompanied by the author's profile photo. There are just some people's faces, friend or not, that I don't want popping up on my screen. Especially with some of the crazy avatars floating around these days. I can just imagine hitting the home button only to have dozens of pink equal signs covering all the apps that I really want to use. No, thanks.
The moniker of Facebook phone is ironic enough as many people use the social media flagship just so they don't have to use the phone to call friends and family. Think about that for a minute. Think of the opinions we form of our loved ones because we stopped actually talking and base opinion on their status updates. You have Sally the ranter, Joe the pervert and mom the religious quilt-club member. In reality they are just normal people but Facebook has made it easy to shape these distorted opinions. Coincidently, we formed them by reading their posts from a phone we never bothered to call them with.
Obviously some people are going to love this. Facebook is a powerful tool and a fun and effective way to keep in touch with the masses. It's boredom's best friend. I get that I come across as a crotchety old man here. That's fine. My kids probably would agree. Picking on the low-hanging fruit in society makes the rest of us feel better. Still, if you want a phone with Facebook, buy whatever phone and operating system fits your needs and get what is a very solid app that works across all devices. The fodder here is that you need a specific phone or operating system to access Facebook software. Yep, bad marketing strikes again.
Truth- HTC makes dynamite devices. While I usually grasp my iPhone like Charlton Heston clenched a gun, my cold dead fingers would be just fine with an HTC smartphone. Truth: Android has evolved to be a fantastic operating system. If only Apple put as much effort into IOS. If you're considering this new device, do it because the other factors match your needs and not for enhanced news feeds.
For the rest of us, Facebook has already stated its intention to move into other platforms like Apple and Windows. Before long we will probably be tempted to add such features to existing devices.