A month after getting accidentally leaked in the company’s Android app, Facebook’s dialer and caller ID app “Hello” has become official. The company released the application in Google Play earlier today for free, but it seems to be US-only right now and Facebook has not revealed any plans for expanded availability.
“Billions of calls are made everyday on mobile phones and people often have very little information about who’s calling them. Today we are starting to test Hello, a new app built by the Messenger team. Hello connects with Facebook so you can see who’s calling, block unwanted calls and search for people and places,” wrote Andrea Vaccari, Product Manager at Facebook, in a blog post.
Developed by the Facebook Messenger team, Hello offers four basic functions apart from what any normal dialer app comes with – automatic look-up for unknown callers, search for people and businesses on Facebook, block unwanted calls, make VOIP calls using Messenger.
According to the company, the app uses Facebook database to identify unknown callers or to offer details of local businesses and people. The call block feature in the app allows the users block specific numbers and adjust whether they want to automatically blocks calls from commonly blocked numbers in settings. All the blocked calls go to voice-calls, so that they can be reviewed later.
Concerned about your privacy, Facebook only shows information on people that they have already shared it with you or publicly on Facebook.
Hello will be competing with Truecaller, which is most popular caller-ID app on Android, and also offers its dialer app in Google Play for free. Truecaller Dialer however doesn’t include local search. Google’s own dialer, which comes bundled with Nexus and Google Play edition devices, does provide in-built local search support. So basically, Facebook has bundled the best for both these apps in the Hello, but it remains to be seen whether Facebook’s caller-ID or local businesses database trumps the Google and Truecaller databases, both of which are tried and test and quietly possible the biggest in the industry right now.