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Ready for a 'Facebook phone'? AT&T unveils the HTC Status

HTC Status promises to be the first phone with deep social network integration. This 'Facebook phone' will drop in mid-July on AT&T.

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You can get Facebook updates on just about any smart phone – so why is the blogosphere making such a big deal about the HTC Status? It’s the only US phone (so far) with Facebook integration so deep, it actually includes a physical, dedicated Facebook “share” button. HTC announced on Wednesday the device’s impending arrival on the AT&T network – appropriately enough, unveiling the phone on Facebook.

For social-networking mavens, the level of connectivity here could be awfully tempting. Pressing that little blue button will let you instantly post to your Facebook wall, and HTC says the phone will also include other social features to take advantage of having a dedicated Facebook button right there in the phone’s bezel.

For example, a long press of the Facebook button will let you check-in at your current location through Facebook Places. The button glows when you’re listening to music, presumably to entice you to share information about the song with your social circle. The phone will also give users the ability to post pictures automatically as they’re being taken. (In what social situations is it wise to use this feature? That’s a question HTC is evidently leaving up to the users.)

It’s also worth pointing out that Facebook chat, a feature missing from the Facebook app on many phones, is included on the Status, as is a home-screen widget that activates when you receive a call, displaying the caller’s Facebook status and – if his or her birthday lands that week – a reminder that the date is coming up.

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