Facebook is equipping its portal product family with new features. One of them partially removes the Facebook constraint.Facebook is equipping its Smart Speaker video telephony devices Portal Mini, Portal, Portal Plus and Portal TV with new features. The update brings new augmented reality features, access via Whats-app and a larger selection of streaming services, as the official announcement shows . So far, the use of Facebook’s portal devices required membership in the company’s social network. This constraint lifts Facebook now, so that the devices can be used from now on with Whats-app accounts. However, some services still have Facebook constraints. For example, without a Facebook account, you can make video calls and use features like Story Time to bring your kids stories to life with (new) AR effects. Users can now also use the Workplace service with the update and communicate via Facebook features such as chat, video calling and groups.
The update also offers a number of new functions for Portal TV, the most interesting of which is the integration of new video and music streaming services. From now on Amazon Prime Video, Fandango Now, Sling TV, Crave and France Televisions will find their way onto the TV portal. Anyone who believes that Portal TV will finally become a comprehensive streaming device that can easily compete with competing products will be disappointed. Country restrictions apply to some of the services. For example, Amazon Prime Video is only available in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada and France.In addition to the streaming services, the update brings “Mic Drop” to the device – a kind of karaoke function. This should allow users to re-listen to their favorite songs and perform on stage during a call via AR. Per Gif, the live performance should then be shared – who needs it. The Photo Booth feature adds effects to selfies and videos, but with similar features on smartphones, it’s not a groundbreaking feature.From now on, live streamers can use the TV portal as an interface for their Facebook live streams. Important moments such as birthdays and anniversaries should be shared worldwide, Facebook romanticized the feature. In fact, this is an easy way for streamers who want to share their gaming sessions, for example. In addition, the update brings Facebook Watch on the three devices.Further updates will follow in the future. Facebook does not state in detail what users can expect from it in the official report and only speaks of “more content and experiences”.