Is Facebook Planning an Android Phone Dialer?

Do you remember the HTC First? No? Perhaps this might ring a bell: the Facebook Phone, Mark Zuckerberg's effort to create a branded device that could compete with Apple and Android.

The Facebook phone debuted with a lot of fanfare in the spring of 2013. Facebook struck an exclusive deal with AT&T to sell the phone, and pumped a lot of money into marketing and promotion. However, the Facebook phone was met with a massive yawn by consumers, and within a month, AT&T had dropped the price of the HTC First from $99 to 99 cents.

Apparently Zuckerberg and his colleagues are not giving up on the telephone market, or at least the voice call portion of it. According to a report Friday by the Web site Android Police, screenshots of a new Android app were captured in the wild that seem to suggest that Facebook is developing software to replace the default Android dialer.

We reached out to Facebook for comment and while a spokesperson was willing to confirm the existence of the "Phone" app, no further information was available. "We are always testing things and have nothing to announce at this time," the spokesperson said.

The Facebook 'Phone' App

The new Facebook app, creatively dubbed "Phone" (at least for the time being), apparently was supposed to be limited to internal testing, but wound up on some users' devices as part of Facebook's bi-weekly automatic updates.

The screen shots suggest that the Facebook Phone app is designed to provide users with increased information about callers by looking up incoming phone numbers in the massive Facebook user database and displaying the data on the screen.

According to the screen shots, the app also states that it "automatically blocks calls from commonly blocked numbers." There is no information yet regarding the source of the blocking data -- it...

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