Facebook's 'home on Android' reportedly leaks ahead of launch, brings HTC Myst in tow

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It looks like we have an early peek into Facebook's 'new home on Android', before the company actually announces it on April 4. Android Police claims to have got access to a system dump of the Facebook phone.

While the site couldn't offer a lot of screenshots as logins have been made available selectively for Facebook employee accounts and everything is DRM-protected, the build.prop frill of the ROM indicates that it's actually going to be a new phone codenamed 'Myst'.

This indicates that previous rumours suggesting the 'Myst' name were bang on target. The report also suggests that the phone will be built by HTC, powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon MSM8960 (Dual Core) processor, have 1GB of RAM, a 4.3-inch screen with a 720p resolution, a 5-megapixel rear camera and a 1.6-megapixel front shooter, and run Android 4.1.2. It will run HTC's Sense UI version 4.5 and will not have expandable storage. Earlier this month, another report had confirmed the specifications of the phone. Turns out that the report's source was also right.

According to the Android Police report, the phone's ROM packs a new Faceboook app which has permissions and intents including permissions to stay on top of all other windows, turn off the lock screen and start when the phone turns on, needed to be the user's home screen replacing HTC's traditional home screen. The home screen app can also control the user's Wi-Fi connection, change system settings and see what other apps are running.

Interestingly, the permissions also allow the app to read the settings for the stock Android launcher, the HTC launcher, and the Touchwiz Launcher, which indicates that Facebook might extend it to other Android phones. A recent report had indicated that Facebook was in talks with other phone makers.

The guys at Android Police have also reported the presence of two app drawer buttons, in addition to buttons for 'compose' and  'settings'.

So all of this essentially confirms that Facebook is indeed coming to the Android home screen. However, we'll only be able to see the exact functionality of the new app when Facebook unveils it.

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