The Phone Android dialer application Facebook was testing last month has been rechristened Hello, and it was officially rolled out in the Google Play store Wednesday.
Hello, currently available only for Android, serves as a phone dialer, caller ID provider, search engine and blocker of unwanted calls.
Android Police reported last month that an app called Phone was discovered in the Google Play store, and the two apps are clearly one in the same, since the Google Play URL for Hello contains “Facebook Phone.”
The entry for Phone last month was labeled “FB-ONLY,” likely meaning that it was only intended for use by employees of the social network, and users attempting to install it were unsuccessful, encountering “no page found” errors, which Android Police believed was due to the app being stored on Facebook’s internal servers.
As for Hello, from Facebook Creative Labs, product manager Andrea Vaccari provided an overview of the app’s features in a Newsroom post:
When you get a call, Hello will show you info about who’s calling you, even if you don’t have that number saved in your phone. You will only see info that people have already shared with you on Facebook.
You can also search for people and businesses on Facebook and call them with just one tap. So if a friend tells you about a new restaurant in your neighborhood, you can use Hello to find their hours, make a reservation and get directions, all without leaving the app.
Hello makes it easy to block unwanted calls. From your settings, you can block specific numbers and adjust whether you want to automatically block calls from commonly blocked numbers. Blocked calls go straight to voicemail and can be reviewed in your recent calls.
With Hello, people will only see info they could otherwise find on Facebook. We’ve also made it easy to control your experience using your settings on Facebook and in the app.