PALO ALTO, Calif.--Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg today may have disappointed some people who were hoping to see Facebook release a phone. "There are rumors out there that Facebook is building a phone," Zuckerberg said this morning at the company's mobile event at its headquarters. "No."
However, Android and iPhone users will have something to look forward to. In addition to announcing platform changes, Zuckerberg shared some updates to Facebook for iPhone and Android. The iPhone app will be receiving Facebook Groups, which recently made its debut on the social network. Facebook Places, its listing service, is also getting updated, and will include friend-tagging. In addition, after you check in to a location with Places, you'll be able to add a photo.
Updates will be more significant on the Android app. "The Android app has traditionally been a little bit behind," Zuckerberg said. As it happens, Google bought the company that Facebook was going to use to help build its Android app. The changes to the Android app will close the gap between the two smartphone platforms and bring about more parity. In addition to the interface changes that could arise, Facebook for Android will also include Places and Groups for Android.
The updated Facebook and Android apps will be available beginning today (now) in the Android Market and iPhone App Store, and will roll out to U.S. users. Local deals are only available for iPhone at launch; only about 50 percent of users will see it in the updated app today, a Facebook spokesperson told CNET. International users will have to wait it out for now.
Stay tuned for more to come, and check out our live blog for all the announcement details.
Updates at 11:55 a.m. PT and again at 12:40 p.m. PT: Added details about download availability and corrected the type of tagging included in the app.