Facebook recently announced this week a new caller ID type app for Android handsets that is designed to block unwanted phone calls, and assist users in looking for people or places by gathering information from Facebook itself.
For years, the social networking giant has always limited its interests to stuff that is related to social media only, but the introduction of its Hello mobile app (developed by the same crew responsible for Facebook's Messenger app) can be taken as proof that the company is indeed starting to open up to new ventures. And what is doubly interesting is that Facebook is now taking on voice calls. The company is quick to note though that it is still testing the Hello dialer app, but it has made the app available for free downloading from the Google Play store.
What the Hello app basically does is replace the dialer that is natively built in smartphones that run on Google's Android mobile operating system. Whenever users receive a phone call, the app displays data about the person who is calling, even if that person's phone number is not saved in the recipient's smartphone. The information shown, however, is only those that people have already shared with the person being called (or information that has been shared publicly) on Facebook.
One other clever thing about the Hello dialer app is that it allows users to block specific phone numbers. Blocked callers are then redirected to voice mail. The app definitely comes in handy for users who like to search for people and business entities on Facebook. When they find who they are looking for, they can just call those people with just a single tap.
The Hello mobile app also encourages users to take advantage of free calling capabilities using Wi-Fi networks. This is something that has long been a feature of Facebook's own Messenger app. Introduced two years ago back in 2013, the social media giant had incorporated free calling in its chat messaging tool for the Android platform. Now, people who download the Hello app can also make use of the feature in contacting other users or businesses they find on Facebook.
As of this writing, Facebook's Hello dialer app is only made available for users based in the United States, Brazil, and Nigeria. There is no doubt that iOS users are interested to know whether the app will make its way to iPhones soon. But a spokesperson from Facebook has stated that that remains to be seen for now depending on how the app tests out on the Android platform.
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