If you look at the direction and apps that Facebook has been launching the past few months, you might get the idea that they want to take over your phone. The newest product out of their Creative Labs app helps you manage the calls you make and receive from your smartphone. And since it is connected to your Messenger, you even get to make free calls and text directly from the app.
A smartphone’s dialler isn’t the sexiest, and so we tend to look for other apps that can give us a better experience in the rare times when we actually make calls. Facebook is banking on that, and it is also banking on the fact that since Hello will be connected to your account, it can give you so much more than just the ability to dial a number. If the person calling is a Facebook friend already, it will show you contextual information, like if it’s their birthday, or what company they’re affiliated with, etc. If your Facebook friend has a number on their account and it’s public, they’re automatically added to your phonebook. But if the number isn’t public, you can still connect with them through free VOIP calls from Facebook.
Now if someone is calling you and you don’t recognize the number, or if you do recognize it but you don’t want to speak to that person (ever), then you have the ability to block that number/person. The call then goes straight to voicemail, so if they leave a message, you’ll have the chance to review it and decide if you will unblock them. Another great feature is that from the app itself, you can search for businesses and places, and if their number is indicated on their page, you can call them from Hello directly, to ask for directions or whatever information you need from them.
Their blog says that the app will be “testing” starting today, so we may expect that there are a few bugs and it will not yet work perfectly. For now, it seems to be available in the US region only. You can download the app from the Google Play Store, and of course, it’s for free.