So, we first heard the semi-unbelievable rumors about the HTC Facebook phones earlier today but now a few more details have emerged about what these devices could possibly have as features.
BGR was given some details from a focus group participant regarding something which wasn’t called the Facebook phone but had many similarities to it. Let’s go over the claims and see how realistic these would be for the HTC Facebook phones.
Location aware coupons: you pick main categories of interest. When you’re near any stores that fall into those categories, coupons are automatically pushed to your phone. Basically, it sounds like “Facebook Deals on steroids,” as our tipster elegantly phrased it.
This makes a lot of sense, as the company should be making a big push with its check-in services and Deals, so I could easily see this being integrated in a mobile device from the ground up.
An always-on GPS service much like Google Latitude that would run in the background. The service would provide automatic “check-ins” and might share your location with friends.
While the world’s largest social network would love for your information to be constantly shared, it has already run into far too many privacy issues for this to be a standard feature on the HTC Facebook phones, I believe. It may be an option but there’s probably more value in a check-in that the user actually decides to initiate than an automatic one which may not even be with the correct location or venue.
No local storage (or very little). Everything is cloud-based, including contacts, media, data, etc.
We saw this with device like the Microsoft Kin, although these still had a few gigabytes on board. While I love the idea of this, you still need onboard storage for times when you don’t have connections and with many carriers implementing tiered data plans, having to check the cloud for your contacts every time could become an expensive annoyance.
Obviously the phone will include a camera, but everything will be uploaded automatically and stored in the cloud.
This seems like an obvious feature of the HTC Facebook phones but I’m still concerned about data usage.
A news ticker-style message notification system: all messages funnel into one mass inbox, sortable by type, but initially unfiltered. There will also be a ticker of some kind that reads off message content as it’s delivered, regardless of message type.
This is the first thing about the HTC Facebook phones which really pique my interest, as this is in line with the recent revamp of its messaging platform. It’s an interesting, if messy, approach to communication and I wouldn’t mind trying it out.