App Spotlight: Learn More About Your Contacts with CallApp
By Rick Broida
Android’s stock Contacts app is pretty much, well, a stock contacts app. It stores names, addresses, phone numbers, and the like, but does it pull in each contact’s latest tweets and LinkedIn updates? Does it let you see your next scheduled meeting with a contact? Or schedule a follow-up call? No, no, and no.
CallApp is a contact manager on steroids. It’s not perfect, but it does give you a ton of new and useful ways to track and interact with your contacts — ways that might just help you impress a client or close a sale.
The first time you run CallApp, it sends you an activation code via SMS. From there you’ll need to sign into one or more of your social networks: Facebook, Foursquare, Google+, LinkedIn, and Twitter.
(Note to privacy junkies: CallApp does require informational access to these accounts (it would have to), and it will also ask to upload your contacts so it can maximize the overall experience. Privacy is assured, but obviously this kind of information-sharing won’t fly for some users.)
Within CallApp’s main contacts screen, you can tap one of three options for any person or business. By tapping the name, you get an attractive overview of that person’s info: a photo, a LinkedIn description of the person’s profession, his/her latest tweet and text message, and so on. Across the top you’ll find icons that can connect you with useful communication tools, like GTalk and Skype.
How much info you get is based on how many networks you and the contact are connected to.
If it’s a business, you might also see options like map, Yelp, Bing Local, Web search, and Twitter — all incredibly handy stuff to have just one tap away.
For any contact you can also tap the accompanying CallApp icon for a pop-up list of powerful options: note, reminder, set meeting, share location, and so on. Or, if you just want to call that person, simply tap the phone icon.
What’s especially nice is that CallApp works its magic with incoming calls as well, displaying as much information as possible about the person on the other end.
The app could use a few improvements. For starters, it displayed the wrong photo for at least one of my contacts — though it did give me the chance to fix that. Also, it seems to work only with contacts that have phone numbers. I don’t know about you, but my address book is full of number-less contacts, and I’d welcome the option of leveraging CallApp’s capabilities with them as well.
If you’ve found Android’s standard Contacts app lacking, especially in the social-media department, CallApp is well worth a look.
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