Facebook wants to take over your smartphone. The company recently introduced a social caller ID app exclusively for Android users. The new app is called Hello, and it works by instantly matching phone numbers to Facebook profiles. It shows information on who you are talking to and blocked calls. It also has a search feature for businesses to call.
Facebook launches new Android app
The social media website showed off the new app called Hello on Wednesday. It’s currently available for public testing in the United States, Nigeria and Brazil. It’s not available to iOS users because Apple won’t let apps interact with phone calls. The app’s ID feature allows users to pick up calls from numbers they don’t have saved by displaying the name and profile picture of the caller. This system works as long as the caller hasn’t changed their default privacy settings to prevent other users from finding them. Users will also see other information shared by the caller, including city, employer or website.
The new app doesn’t affect user privacy
The new app doesn’t change Facebook user privacy, but it makes personal information more visible. Hello is similar another caller ID app called True Caller. Just last month, tech website Android Police reported that Facebook was working on an ID for employees only code-named “Phone.”
Facebook’s project manager for Hello, Andrea Vaccari, said there is one big problem involving the new app. There are more than 1 billion phone calls made every day throughout the United States, but the phone call experience has not evolved in a long time.
Vaccari led the Hello project with the help of the Facebook Messenger team. He joined the social network when it acquired social location startup Glancee. He was also the project leader for the product launch Nearby Friends. Hello started as a small group of people who shared the project with founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg. He approved the idea and gave the team everything they needed to build it. The app will continue to be in development over time as a standalone project.