Facebook Testing Android "Phone" App

According to new reports, Facebook is working on a new Android dialer that would use the network's database of phone numbers.

Facebook has had a "Phone" before when it launched the Facebook Phone in 2013 which turned into a major flop. Two years later, Phone has resurfaced but this time Facebook is aiming smaller and smarter with an app that "shows you info about who's calling and automatically blocks calls from commonly blocked numbers," according to a leaked screenshot of an invite to the test service. The screenshots were received and published by Android Police on Friday and cited "a couple of folks who tipped us." Currently Phone is limited to Facebook employees and the screenshots reveal a "FB-ONLY" tag. It is unclear if Facebook plans to roll out the service, but confirmed that it is in testing to Venture Beat. Facebook would not comment further on the service saying, "We are always testing things and have nothing to announce at this time."

While Facebook is testing the new service internally, Phone may never end up rolling out to end users. Currently, users can have voice calls via Facebook's Messenger app. This is limited to Messenger-to-Messenger calls. Facebook also added a money transfer feature to Messenger. Facebook-owned WhatsApp started accepting voice calling this year. Rolling out in phases, the voice service is free and uses a data connection to make calls. Voice calling only works on Android devices running the latest update of WhatsApp and need an invite to activate the service. As voice calling rolls out, WhatsApp reached a milestone: one billion downloads.

Photo: © Facebook (via Android Police).