We've been seeing leak after leak about Google's rumored unified messaging service. Now, as more details get seemingly confirmed and and we even get a look at the possibly near-finished app, clearly this is the time for Google to acquire a competing IM service, right? Well, not so much, according to AllThingsD. As it turns out, Mountain View is not about to buy WhatsApp, a company that makes a product that Google is currently nearly done building itself.
Facebook Home, the company's trumpeted home screen replacement effort, has been a popular point of discussion since before it was announced.
For those who missed the announcement, Facebook is looking to replace your device's normal launcher with a continuous in-your-face social bonanza, featuring a huge news feed on your lock screen, a new pop-up chat called Chat Heads, and pretty complete integration with the social network, allowing for status, photo, and other updates on the fly.
As we all know, Facebook had an announcement earlier this week. The most pervasive social media outlet on the planet announced Facebook Home – a product that essentially amounts to a highly integrated launcher for your Android phone. It also announced the HTC First, a phone optimized for Home, offering a fully Facebook-ed experience.
The launcher is actually pretty nice – features like the unfortunately-named Chat Heads are almost enough to sell this writer on the idea of making an Android hamburger out of a phone, with Facebook Home serving as the top bun (or maybe the lettuce).
Today, Facebook announced the Facebook Home suite that we've been hearing so much about. Well, to be more accurate, we've been hearing that Facebook is going to build its own phone and fork Android and create its own special social OS and that it would be the end of Google and that civilization will crash around us and we'll all wear monkey pelts and "Like" statuses by hurling spears through our enemies.
We've managed to score a system dump of the Facebook phone! There's nothing in it that's too earthshattering, and you could probably guess most of the features, but, since we've got it, we might as well take a look at it.
[This is not an April Fool's joke. I promise.]
Now, this being Facebook, nothing really works unless you sign in. The problem is, all of this is pre-release, so it's set up to only work for Facebook employee accounts.
Facebook is throwing an Android event at its headquarters in Menlo Park in exactly a week - on April 4th at 10am Pacific to be precise. We've just gotten our invite, and from the looks of it, so has the majority of the Android and tech press. Needless to say, Facebook wants as many eyes as possible on whatever it's about to announce, be it a new Facebook-heavy phone, another app, or maybe even a full-fledged Android-based Facebook OS not tied to specific hardware.
Facebook has been slowly rolling out VoIP calling to its Messenger app in an effort to make it the single, unified source for all your communication needs (before Google can). Today, it apparently took another baby step forward by granting UK users of the mobile app the ability to connect for free (minus data charges where applicable) to anyone they're friends with.
At the moment the service doesn't seem to have rolled out to all users yet, and it may even still be a bit buggy (the slow expansion is partially to conduct tests, after all).
To say that Koreans get into video games more than most of us would be an understatement. Sure, we may stay up til midnight to play a sweet new game, but these guys build friggin' stadiums to play them in. Starcraft isn't the only game that's taken off in Korea, though. Ragnarok Online has been a huge MMORPG in the country that spread worldwide and is now landing on Android.