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05 Dec 2020

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Lifestyle

Facebook CatchUp App 

Facebook explains the app’s intention is to address one of the key reasons people no longer make phone calls — they don’t know when someone has time to talk and they don’t want to interrupt them. Meanwhile, calls that can’t be answered go to voicemails that recipients don’t bother checking, which forces communication to go through text messaging or chat apps instead. And while video chats are on the rise, a phone call is often more convenient as users aren’t always video-ready or they’re trying to multi-task, not sit in front of a screen.

CatchUp approaches the problem of not knowing if a phone call would bother someone by allowing you to see who is ready and able to talk as soon as you launch the app.

Users can also create and join groups of friends, family, and mutual contacts in the app, as you can with other chat apps. Or they can place 1-on-1 calls as an alternative to using the phone.

Placing a call is simple as well. It’s just a one-button tap — not a complicated process of calling contacts, then “merging” calls as you do on your smartphone’s Phone app.

Facebook explains the idea for the app actually came about prior to the COVID-19 outbreak and subsequent quarantine, but the NPE Team accelerated the app’s development as a result of the pandemic.

While there are already easy ways to make voice calls using Facebook’s own Messenger and WhatsApp apps, the difference is that CatchUp works with your phone’s contacts. Users will have to download the app, but they won’t need to have an existing Facebook account — or an account with any Facebook-owned companies. Plus, the app’s simplified user interface could make it easier for older users, like grandma and grandpa, to navigate. It’s really just a one-screen experience with a toggle button to become “available” to talk.

The app also includes privacy features that allow you to configure which contacts can join your 1-on-1 and group calls.

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