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Facebook tests caller ID app, Instagram launches Layout for collagesNew apps are brewing at Facebook: The social network experiments with phone calls, and Instagram's Layout combines multiple photos. Meanwhile, Square creates "cashtags" for sending money to friends and businesses.
Facebook may soon have yet another app to put on your phone. I'm Bridget Carey and this is your CNET update. [MUSIC] Facebook is working on another way to weave itself into your phone calls. The social network is testing an Android app called Phone. In the description it provides caller ID and automatic call blocking from commonly blocked numbers. Essentially the network is leveraging its enormous database of more than a billion users. To match phone numbers with names telling you who is calling you if you don't know them. Now, Facebook confirmed the existence of the app after screen shots were leaked and posted to the blog Android police. It seems it's only being tested right now amongst Facebook employees. We don't have any details. Facebook already lets you make video calls from your computer and voice. Calls to friends on the messenger chat app. This caller ID test takes things a step further. Now, it's possible the phone app may never be released, but technically Facebook did just launch another app today. Instagram, which Facebook owns, has a new app for Apple iOS devices called Layout from Instagram. This separate app lets you combine multiple photos into a single image. There will be an android version in the coming months. Facebook is holding its annual developers conference Wednesday, and Thursday. Mark Zuckerberg may not talk about that experimental phone app, but he is expected to present some changes to the network. That may lure in app developers to connect their services and advertising more with Facebook. Some speculate that Facebook could talk about virtual reality. It's a hot topic lately in gaming, and it's been one year since the social network bought Oculus, one of the leading companies in the space. And you can expect to hear Zuckerberg talk about new features in the Messenger app. Then make it easier for outside apps to be tied into Facebook's chat service. Stand alone chat apps are a big area with big competition from Snapchat and WeChat and, of course, Facebook now owns WhatsApp with 700 million users around the world. Just a few days ago, Facebook announced their Messenger app is adding a new feature to let you send money to friends. Meanwhile, the mobile payment company Square has a new way to send money to friends or businesses. The Square Cash app has been a way for you to send money for free to your friends, transferring money from your debit card account. But now you can create a special URL link called a Cashtag for anyone giving money. It's a username with a dollar sign in front. It's a simple way to collect money online when you're selling something to strangers or asking for donations and businesses can also set up accounts with a unique Cashtag name. Small businesses will be charged a 1.5% processing fee for this debit money transfer, which is cheaper than the 2.75% fee Square charges for using its card swiping reader. That's your tech news update, and you can stay updated at cnet.com. Follow along on Twitter, and subscribe to our podcast. From our studios in New York, I'm Bridget Carey.