Elias Pelcastre

Hello: Facebook´s new caller ID app for Android

Facebook has released a new app called Hello. But do not, for one moment, think that it intends to compete with Whatsapp´s new VoIP calls (just this week, some iPhone users are able start using this feature as part of a “rollout”); that would be just stupid – Whatsapp was acquired by Facebook not too long ago.

Hello is a – we cannot use the word simple, but maybe “scary” – caller ID. Available for Android, and selected countries (probably just the United States for the time being), the app wants to provide you with more information about the calls you get.

We managed to get the APK and try it outside the US. In case you are in a different country, don´t believe the “this app is not compatible with your device” nonsense – the app is not available due to geographical restrictions.

After giving the app access to a long list of our phone´s features (here´s where the scary part begins), log in with your Facebook username and password. Remember, this is a Facebook app.

On the next screen you´ll see a brief tutorial. Hello, with an interface that reminds us a lot of Messenger, displays the Facebook information of the caller, even if you don´t have their number saved on your phone; enables you to block unwanted calls; and search for people and places without the need of changing apps.

Then, you´ll see a white screen with a list of calls, and next to the call, the Facebook photo of the caller (in case he has a Facebook profile). When taping on a caller with Facebook, Hello displays some information, such as the country and workplace, and a Messenger button to place a free call (this works only if the caller, and yourself, have the Facebook Messenger app installed and a phone number enabled).

Hello enables you to associate contact information saved on your phone to Facebook and get more information related to the caller. Plus, you can access the caller´s Facebook profile with one touch.

Once you get a call, Hello does a quick search on the social network and looks for their Facebook information. There are two ways of looking at this: useful (you can know who is calling), or scary, because this could be regarded as an invasion to the caller´s privacy.

We would have to use Hello for a longer period of time to see its real value, but at the moment we´re excited/scared of its implications. Have you tried Hello? We´d love to hear your thoughts on the app.

Download Hello free for Android

Taken from my website EPELTECHMagazine