The first phones to feature a dedicated Facebook button have been confirmed by mobile maker HTC. Much-rumoured, ChaCha and Salsa will allow instant access to the popular social network via the button.
Although not official ‘Facebook phones’, HTC and Facebook both said they had cooperated closely on the devices. Salsa is a touchscreen phone while ChaCha will also feautre a keyboard.
Peter Chou, CEO of HTC, said that “we wanted to create the ultimate socially connected phones with mass market appeal”, while Henri Moissinac, Facebook’s Head of Mobile Business, said “We have worked closely with HTC for several years on bringing Facebook to their devices and HTC ChaCha and HTC Salsa are the next stage.”
The two Android-based devices will run on Gingerbread, the latest version of the operating system and offer a level of Facebook integration that has so far only been seen on INQ’s new Facebook models announced last week.
The Facebook button will be ‘context aware’, offering different function depending on what the user is doing.
It will allow instant sharing of photographs or music from the phone. Status updates and information will also be displayed if the phone identifies a caller as a user’s Facebook friend.
HTC hopes the integration of Facebook will appeal to a generation of new consumers who use the site more than email and run their social calendars through Facebook’s events functions.
The company also announced a 7” tablet, the Flyer, that feature’s an Apple-style ‘unibody’ Aluminium case.
It also includes a pen which, for instance, can integrate recording sound with taking notes by hand so that lectures can be synchronised with notes.
A video download service, integration with Skype and cloud-gaming OnLive and an enhanced version of HTC’s sense interface was also unveiled, along with updates to the Wildfire and Desire models.
All the products will be available in Europe in the second quarter of 2011. The Flyer will initially be sold running Gingerbread but will be upgraded to Google's tablet-specific operating system Honeycomb after it is released.