Facebook’s experimental products team has published a new mobile app called CatchUp that is similar to Messenger, only it is dedicated to voice calls. CatchUp builds upon traditional voice calling to add more modern features, including the ability to see who is currently available, to poke dormant friends, and to send invitations to contacts who haven’t yet downloaded the app.
CatchUp is an iOS app that lists the people in your contacts, including ones who have downloaded the app. Of those who have downloaded CatchUp, you can see their availability; the app also supports groups that the user can join when they’re available. Offline friends can be “poked” similar to poking on Facebook.
Users get access to some advanced features, including the ability to decide who is allowed to make one-on-one calls with you. Users are able to create groups, which could be dedicated to things like certain friends, everyone who participates in the same local event, and family members.
Users are given more information than what is available through traditional voice calls — you can, for example, see which users in a group call are muted, which are in the call, and which are currently ringing. As well, users can see which users are ready to talk; they can be added with a tap of the ‘Add’ button.
Many apps already feature a voice calling feature, including Messenger, but there’s an obvious benefit to CatchUp — it has more advanced features that make things easier for everyone, particularly when it comes to group calling.
As with any NPE Team app, it is possible that Facebook will decide to drop the app at some point, depending on how popular it ends up being. If you have an iPhone, you can grab CatchUp now from the App Store.