October 11, 2009
Notice the icon in the primary slot of my dock where the phone usually goes? It has been replaced. Quite possibly permanently. There’s a good possibility that the Messages app will go shortly, and join its brother Phone somewhere around page ten of my springboard.
It really didn’t take me long to make the decision, either, and for 99 cents, iFavorites does what Phone should have done from jump street. It allows you to have several pages of favorites organized by category, and (providing you want to), you get to see your contact photos right on the favorites screen.
The thing that makes this app more useable than any other picture contact dial app for the iPhone is that it has a regular dial screen built into it – just like the default Phone. It works the same way as the default phone, too.
As you can see from this screenie, it also has a Contacts tab, which plugs into the iPhone’s contacts without any duplication, making it easy to find whomever you want to call.
There’s also a Top 5 tab that shows a graph of those contacts you call most often. It would be nice if it could somehow also track who calls you, but I strongly suspect that’s one of those things that Apple makes impossible. I can see where this could be useful when determining who to add to your A-list if you’re an AT&T customer.
The best part, though, is the Favorites screens.iFavorites comes with categories preset: Family, Friends, and work. You can add in many more categories though. Adding contacts into the category pages is iPhoneasy. Just tap the + sign at the top of the page to go to your Contacts. Find the contact you want to add, and then tap the number you want as your favorite (mobile, home, work, etc.).
To move between category screens, just swipe right or left. Default setting is tap to call your contact. However, notice the 3 icons in the top bar? Tap the center icon, and tapping a contact will now initiate a text message instead of a phone call. If you want to email your favorite, tap the envelope icon first, and then tap your contact. This is the only option that isn’t perfectly seamless, as it will open up an abbreviated contact view so that you can tap on the email address belonging to the contact.
It would be nice if the email option simply opened up an email with the address already entered. Perhaps in a future version, they can work on this. It would, undoubtedly, require choosing a default email, the same as you choose the default phone number.
For $.99, this app provides a few features that you can find on other platforms, and should have been included on the iPhone from the start. Check it out for yourself in the app store.