Skip to main content

Facebook Sets Out To Win Voice Calling Too

One in five people on the planet actively use Facebook. That's a staggering 1.4bn people interacting through the service. 10% of the planet's VoIP traffic - that's voice calls sent over data networks if you didn't already know - are handled by Facebook Messenger. It also delivers 45n messages daily. So to say that Facebook as grown from being a social network to a global utility wouldn't be far off the mark.

These figures were released by Mark Zuckerberg as part of Facebook's earnings call. Also released: Facebook Hello, a replacement dialer for Android phones, which will handle call routing, call blocking and caller ID functions. 

The calling is effectively an extension of what Messenger already does. It's how Hello interacts with the information stored in Facebook which makes it exciting. Get a call from someone whose number you don't know, but who is on Facebook? The app will deliver pertinent information to help you decide whether to take the call. Similarly, outgoing calls will surface that same information so you're always up to date on the person you're speaking to. Powerful stuff.

Lastly Hello can be set to always bounce anonymous callers to voicemail and tells you if a calling number has been blocked by other users, saving you the trouble of speaking to robot diallers and pushy cold callers.

It promises to be a pretty sharp piece of software and demonstrates one of Android's biggest advantages. This can't happen on the iPhone, because iOS doesn't currently allow any direct interaction between the phone and third party apps.

Hello is available in the Google Play store today and more details and a video showing functionality can be found here at Facebook's newsroom page.


Popular posts from this blog

F1: Robert Kubica Impresses In Renault Test Run

The car may be old but its the performance of the driver that's the story here. Robert Kubica returned to F1, after a fashion, earlier this week with an extensive test run in a 2012 Lotus Renault F1 car at Valencia.
The age of the car and the circuit were likely determined by F1's current rules which ban testing, but the reason for Kubica being in the car is far more interesting. Considered by many to be a potential World Champion and certainly one of the fastest drivers of his generation, Kubica's F1 career seemed to be over after a 2011 crash whilst driving in the Rally of Andora. His Skoda Fabia was penetrated by a guardrail in the high speed accident partially severing his right arm.
Up until last year Kubica has been competing in rallying, with the expectation that the limited movement in his repaired arm would prohibit a return to single seater racing.
So this week's test is both interesting and confusing. Interesting because Kubica completed 115 laps of the ret…

F1: Robert Kubica's Williams Test Asks More Questions Than It Answers

Comparing driver's times at a tyre evaluation test like last week's Abu Dhabi event is difficult at the best of times, but when trying to assess the performance of a driver who has been out of the sport for six years, that difficulty level is raised even higher.
On the face of it Robert Kubica's test for Williams was a success. Fastest of the three Williams drivers present the headlines look promising. However, taking into consideration the different tyres used to set those times muddies the water considerably.
Kubica ran a three lap qualifying simulation on the new 'hyper-soft' tyre - which should have given him a two-second advantage. Correcting for tyres it would appear that Kubica was significantly slower than Sergei Sorotkin - who was on the harder 'soft' tyre - and marginally quicker than Lance Stroll, the team's only contracted driver.

Stroll's family fortune currently funds Williams, so there' no chance that he will be anywhere but in a…

Panos Panay's Defence Of Microsoft Surface Hardware Sounds Eerily Familiar

This weekend I went out with my ten year old daughter to select a laptop for her school year beginning in January. The schools requirements are quite specific, requiring a Windows 10 device, with a preference for a touchscreen and a stylus. She chose a Surface Pro, after trying a large number of different options. Having seen the way I use my own Surface Pro - and tried it herself there was only ever going to be two options - and the other was a Surface Laptop.
I tell you this so that you understand I am a buyer of Microsoft's products through choice, not compulsion. I'm on my third Surface device now. 
So when Panos Panay dismissed reports of the death of the Surface hardware line, I was very interested to see exactly how strong these denials were. Especially how they reflect what has gone before. To whit: Windows 10 Mobile.
Panay claimed that Microsoft is in hardware for the long haul. Almost exactly mirroring the words of Terry Myerson, when he claimed Windows Mobile was g…