INQ Mobile, a British startup owned by Hutchison Whampoa (HTC is also working on its own Facebook phone) — channel manager Andrew Bennet show us a pre-production version of the Facebook phone, “INQ Cloud Touch” (also developing “INQ Cloud Q” with querty keyboard).
The phone is built on top of Android with a Facebook wrapper, with features pulled up and enhanced from the Facebook app itself. It looks a bit like a white iPhone, except front and center is a visual feed from your Facebook News feed. Arrows let you flip through the latest status updates, photos, videos, and shared articles from your friends, bringing up media from the underlying links in Flipboard fashion.
Along the top are 4 Facebook buttons: “People, Events, Notifications, and Places:”
- People button shows you the feeds of your closest friends as determined by Facebook’s Open Graph API. It’s like a friends and family circle on a mobile calling plan, except it shows you the feeds of your “top” friends, which you can swipe through. The phone also ingests all the details it can about your Facebook friends into the local address book so you have one unified social address book.
- Events button pulls all your Facebook events such as birthdays and Google Calendar.
- Notifications keeps you up to speed on your latest Facebook friend requests and messages
- Places lets you check into restaurants, bars, and shops. Along the bottom, there is button that pulls up Facebook Chat (the old chat, not the new unified messaging system), and the familiar mobile grid icon that pulls up all the main menu page of the underlying Facebook app.
Oh, and there’s one more thing that has nothing to do with Facebook. INQ replaced the native Android music player with Spotify.