Taiwanese mobile handset maker HTC has announced two new social phones, with Facebook integration, at the Mobile World Congress. Dubbed as HTC ChaCha and HTC Salsa, the phones feature one touch access to key Facebook functions, through HTC’s proprietary Sense user interface layer, over Android Operating System 2.3 Gingerbread. The phones sport a context-aware, Facebook button that gently lights up whenever there is an opportunity to share content or updates through Facebook. This is the second such announcement in recent times – with INQ announcing two Android based Facebook phones, Cloud Touch and Cloud Q. Last year, Indian telco Tata Docomo had also introduced phones from Alcatel, with Yahoo services integrated.
On the HTC phones, with a press of the dedicated Facebook button, users can update their status, upload a photo, share a Website, post what song they are listening to, ‘check in’ to a location and more. It also integrates Facebook into other areas like the Phonebook and whenever a user makes a phone call to a person who is in his Facebook friend list, he gets to see his latest status and photos and reminds about his birthday. The same happens when the user receives a call from a Facebook friend. This reminds us of an application called Socially, which RCOM had launched last year. Users can find existing contacts on Facebook and connect with them. The phones also feature new Facebook-branded widgets.
While ChaCha is a QWERTY keyboard phone with a 2.6 inch touch screen and dual cameras for video chat, Salsa is a 3.4 inch full touchscreen phone with dual cameras. The phones will be available in European and Asian markets in Q2 2011 and later this year in the US through AT&T.
HTC also upgraded its present Android lineup and unveiled new versions of its three Smartphones – Desire S, Wildfire S and Incredible S. Press Release
Streaming Movies: HTC Launches HTC Watch
HTC also launched an Android based Tablet, HTC Flyer which features Scribble, with pen interaction for scribbling notes digitally in addition to touch input. More interestingly, the HTC Flyer features a new video download service, HTC Watch which allows progressive downloading of High-Definition movies from major studios. The studios have not been named.
Mobile Cloud Gaming
HTC has integrated OnLive Inc.’s cloud-based gaming service on the Flyer tablet. OnLive offers services in home gaming market and lets people play top video games on their televisions and computers without the need to buy gaming hardware or software. The service will allow users to pipe the OnLive service through the HTC Flyer tablet’s broadband wireless to their television sets, or let them play directly on the tablet. Users will be able to play games like Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood, NBA 2K11 and Lego Harry Potter. Press Release