It serves as a digital photo frame and lets you place video calls over Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp to phones and other Facebook Portal devices. Facebook isn't well known for building great hardware yet, but it's getting more aggressive with a new round of these Portal devices and its Oculus virtual reality business. But these devices make sense for a company that prides itself on connecting people, and the Portal does a good job at that. While the Portal I tested is a marked improvement over the model I tested last year, and the best video chat device of its kind, Google and Amazon 's devices are still better for most people since they can do more. The Portal is great for video calls, so long as the people you're calling use Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp. Most of my family is on WhatsApp, but the Portal only lets you call up to 4 in a video chat, far from the 32 people that you can call with Apple 's FaceTime. Most of my family doesn't actively use Facebook anymore, but folks with Facebook Messenger can call up to 8 people at once.
What is Facebook Portal+?
For Facebook fans, it has become a serious smart device contender, and you can read what we think about it in our review. But for those who have a Portal or may be getting one soon, we want to focus on what exactly this smart display can do that really sets it apart. Check out these tips for how to get the most from your Portal. Superframe, the smart screen itself, is what controls the photo slideshow your Portal displays when not being actively used. Head to S ettings, and you will find the ability to set the cycle speed of photos 10 or 15 seconds and, more importantly, where your photos are coming from.
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Our parents, our siblings, our friends They all said they'd never put a physical Facebook device — especially one with a camera and a microphone — in their home. When asked why they either mentioned Cambridge Analytica or vaguely referred to the social network's various breaches and privacy scares over the past couple years. And yet, every single one them is a Facebook and Instagram user and says Messenger is their primary messaging app.
Facebook expands its smart home reach with a refresh that includes two new devices. Facebook introduced two new Portal devices in addition to a refresh of its inch Portal smart screen this week. They join the first-edition Portal Plus , which has not been updated. The devices are designed primarily with video calling in mind and are controlled using Facebook's own "Hey, Portal" voice service, as well as via built-in Alexa functionality. Conversations over privacy have eclipsed sales of Portal devices over the last year, making clear the social networking giant is battling its own reputation for market share. Not to mention, stiff competition from the likes of Apple , Google and Amazon have further thwarted Facebook's attempt to stake a serious claim in the fast-growing smart home space. Even if you're not considering buying hardware from a company still at the heart of continuing privacy concerns , here's what you need to know about Facebook's new line of Portal smart devices, including what it says about how Facebook plans to manage your data going forward. Since its inception last year, Facebook Portal mostly lets you video chat with your Facebook friends. The unit sits on a desk or table or near your TV, and the camera follows as you walk around, so you can talk to someone completely hands-free while doing other things. The camera can automatically pan and zoom to focus on you, even in a room full of people.