Rumors of Facebook entering the smartphone market to compete with industry titans such as Apple, Google, and RIM are persisting, but this time the news of some features of this phone come from users who were part of a focus group centered around social media and where the questions of interest surrounded “Facebook” behavior, usage, and patterns.
The questions asked at the focus group centered around location, coupons and deals, media streaming and sharing, and GPS. Here is what BGR is reporting:
- 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.
- 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.
- No local storage (or very little). Everything is cloud-based, including contacts, media, data, etc.
- Obviously the phone will include a camera, but everything will be uploaded automatically and stored in the cloud.
- 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.
It’s still unclear if those questions specifically pertain to a Facebook-branded phone or another app or service that could integrate well with Facebook. If it does point to a Facebook phone, some features, particular the no local storage and inclusion of a camera where everything would be stored in the cloud, are very similar to what Apple is planning as a Media and Photo Streaming service found embedded within code in iOS 4.3 beta. Microsoft had previously attempted that kind of service through its Kin One and Kin Two smartphones and Kin Studio portal where pictures captured with the camera would automatically get uploaded to Microsoft’s secure and private service awaiting for sharing commands from the end-user.
Video: Kin Two with Kin Studio
The Kin phones were cancelled and Microsoft is exploring ways to rolling out some of the Kin features for Windows Phone 7.
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