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This Week's Chitter Chatter - the Facebook Phone, new Samsungs, iRadio & iTV from Apple
Rumours have been circulating about a Facebook phone for well, years probably and Facebook has always denied that they've been working on a phone. Well, on Thursday, the Facebook phone was finally revealed, apart from it wasn't what many were expecting.
Facebook's phone is not an actual phone, but it's complete overhaul of the android operating system which you can download to your Android phone. So if you download Facebook's Home software, which will be available from 12th April, the social network will become the hub of your smartphone. Instead of logging in and seeing a host of apps - like email and maps - you'll be greeted with greeted with photos and updates from your Facebook friends. Facebook's homescreen will also feature a family of apps designed to help you share things with your Facebook contacts.
It's all part of the plan to make phone more people-centric rather than app centric. We're expecting some Android phones to come pre-loaded with Facebook Home - an HTC handset with Facebook Home is going to be available in the US. As soon as we hear more news, we'll let you know.
Facebook may not be launching a new phone but Samsung is launching plenty of them. No sooner have the details of the Galaxy S4 handset and its smaller sibling, the S4 Mini, then we're hearing about a plethora of other offerings from the South Korean manufacturer. For example, there's speculation that work has begun in earnest on the new Samsung Galaxy Ace 3 - a successor to the highly popular mid range Ace 2. But perhaps most interesting of all is the news that Samsung could be working on a real whopper of a phablet, with a screen size of up to 6.3 inches. That's not much smaller than a iPad Mini and makes the Galaxy S4 look petite! The new range of handsets - a 5.8 inch version is supposed to accompany the 6.3 inch model - will apparently be branded 'Samsung Galaxy Megas' - an appropriate name. If the rumours are true, then a Summer to Autumn launch is expected.
Now imagine you're on the move in London, your signal isn't so great and you're in desperate need of wifi. What's the solution? Hail a black cab, of course. Or a turquoise cab, to be more precise - one of the new EE branded cabs. Because that cab will be carrying a wifi router connected to EE's 4G network. And EE's 4-wheeled wifi largesse isn't just confined to the big smoke - 10 branded cabs in Birmingham will be offering the same service.
Of course, one thing you could use your back of the cab wifi for would be to stream some music from a music streaming site like Spotify. If you stream your music to your Apple mobile than you'll be interested to learn that Apple are apparently close to launching their own streaming service, iRadio. Rumour has it they've been bargaining hard with the record labels but things are reaching conclusion.
And finally, whilst we're on the subject of Apple, a reliable source tells us that the to date mythical Apple 'iTV' is finally set to launch in at the back end of 2013. A 60" screen is what's expected, with an innovative take on the TV remote called the iRing, which will be a motion operated sensor worn on your finger. It's likely that your iTV will come with at least one 'iTV Mini' - a 9.7 inch 'portable' that will be able to capture content from the main set - with the option to purchase more iTV Minis for other rooms in your house. In short, it sounds like a gadget-lovers delight and we're sure Apple fans will flock to it.