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Facebook's phone function -- and some fresh O.J.

Most of Mark Zuckerberg's $100 million donation has been spent on brokering a new teachers contract that creates performance-based pay and opening new schools.

Welcome home -- to Facebook. That's what the social networking site wants you to be thinking when you settle into the new Facebook product for Android phones -- a product named 'Facebook Home.'

It has the potential to make every Android phone out there into a Facebook phone.

How does it work?

If you’'ve got an Android smartphone, go to Google Play and download Facebook Home.

Once you do, when you turn on your phone, the first thing you’ll see is photos and status updates from your newsfeed. 

I got a quick tour from Richard Zadoronzy. Unfortunately the screen is a little difficult to see but you'’ll get the point.

Is it worth a try?

A lot of the initial coverage about the phone product has been complimentary.

Wired Magazine said, "It isn't a phone made by Facebook. It’s something better than that."

Facebook's headquarters. 

What more came out of the Facebook press event?

Well, this reporter learned that she loves sushi.

Few in the press will reveal the spread at lunch at the Facebook headquarters, where they announced the launch.

These Facebook events traditionally serve sushi.

This sort of feast has become common place at tech events where the companies are flush with money. But being part of a profession that’s always struggling to make money, it’s something I still get excited by! And also, fresh squeezed orange juice also seems to be a staple at many of these tech companies. And I love O.J.!

Oh, and if you want to check out Facebook Home, you can download it from the Google Play store on April 12.

About the author

Queena Kim covers technology for Marketplace. She lives in the Bay Area.
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You seem to have missed the really big announcement, above the fact that Facebook has a whole launcher replacement for most Android phones. They partnered with HTC and AT&T to intro the HTC First, a "Facebook phone" that not only has the launcher, but has FB integrated into notifications and other functions. More than just a launcher replacement. $99 with a 2 year contract. Mid-grade hardware, all FB, all the time.

It's not what I would call game changing, I sorta kinda predicted that if they sold it unlocked and on the open market, for a compelling price (like Google did with the Nexus 4, but in plentiful supply so they'd actually sell a lot of them), they could really shake things up. No, instead they're going the old route of a subsidized phone locking the buyer into a contract. Meh. But still, it's a clever idea -- use the open source Android platform for the phone, with ability to update super-regularly, even adding in more features post-sale, brand it for the social network, but with the capability to be anyone's "daily driver" phone. We'll see.....

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