Forget the Facebook phone, make free calls via WiFi and Messenger on iOS devices

Summary:Facebook didn't announce a phone like some believed, but they did update the Facebook Messenger app so that iOS users can make free calls via WiFi in the US and Canada.

Forget the Facebook phone, make free calls via WiFi on iOS devices

A couple days ago Facebook held an event where speculation was that they would announce a "Facebook phone". We know that the announcement ended up being their new Graph Search functionality and I have to say I personally never believed there would be a Facebook phone announcement and think that's a dead end. However, last night Facebook did release an update to Facebook Messenger for the iPhone that added free calling via WiFi between Facebook iOS users. You can already make free WiFi calls via other clients, such as Skype and Truphone, but Facebook has more users so there is the potential that this could be more important for Facebook users.

As you can see in my screenshot, the updated Facebook Messenger for iOS app adds a new Free Call button when you tap the "i" icon in the upper right of a conversation in Messenger. I discovered this updated application late last night and since none of my Facebook friends were up I couldn't test it out myself. According to the folks at The Verge, call quality is good and on par with other clients.

We have seen companies like HTC try to create a Facebook phone and Facebook has apps for every mobile platform. I don't see why Facebook would waste time trying to make its own phone and think we will just continue to see improvements in Facebook apps for iOS, Android, Windows Phone, and BlackBerry 10. CNET put together some good reasons it makes little sense for Facebook to develop its own phone.

Topics: Mobility, Apple, iPhone

About

Matthew Miller started using a mobile devices in 1997 and has been writing news, reviews, and opinion pieces ever since. He is a co-host with GigaOM's Kevin Tofel on the MobileTechRoundup podcast and an author of three Wiley Companion series books. Matthew started using mobile devices with a US Robotics Pilot 1000 and has owned over 200 d... Full Bio

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