September 17, 2014

App Review: aTAKEphONE

find-dial-ibar-screenIf you have ever found yourself wishing the pack in phonebook app for Android was a bit more robust aTAKEphONE might just be the app you’ve been looking for.

When you first install aTAKEphONE it gives you the option to import your existing favorites from the Android phonebook app.  If you happen to have a photo attached to your favorites these show up as nice little thumbnails to make dialing even easier.  Simply tap on the image to dial, or long press to pull up a menu that allows you to text as well.  I did find myself wishing there was also an option to email, send a tweet, or a message via Google Talk or another messaging application.

The find/dial tab is probably the biggest improvement over the standard Android phonebook.  You no longer have to open up the keyboard to search for your contacts.  Just use the number pad to spell the first or last name of the contact you’re looking for and viola!  Like magic your results appear in the top bar.  Again you can long press to pull up the menu to make a call or send a text.  Something I did find odd was that you just can’t press the hard call button on the phone itself to dial a contact.  You have to long press to pull up the menu then select call.  Not very convenient, and an odd omission considering the standard Android phonebook does allow you to do this.  This is something that could easily be fixed with an update.

Under the find/dial tab you will also find the “i-bar” which shows your favorite’s thumbnail photo along a horizontal line, and you can use your finger to scroll it to the left or right.  One tap on these thumbnails places a call automatically, and a long press pulls up the options to call, text, email, or send a message via Google Talk.  Yes!   If you press the menu button on this screen you will also see the option to view the contacts barcode.  Pretty nifty that.

favorites-screen options-screen ibar-long-press

The settings allow you to set up your search preferences such as searching within words or notes.  If you’ve assigned a company to your contacts you can also choose to search by company.  A cool feature for you power users out there.  You can also set some find/dial preferences like remembering the last search result and auto selecting single matches.

During my two weeks of use I didn’t find any major performance issues.  aTAKEphONE isn’t as fast as the standard Android phonebook app but there is a lot more going on here so this is understandable.  You also have to get used to using the tabs at the bottom of the app and not the “back key” on the phone itself or you will find yourself staring at the last app you used.  Kind of annoying, but after a few days you’ll be fine.  I can strongly recommend this app as a competent replacement for the Android phonebook application.  It’s been my default phonebook for the last two weeks and I can’t myself giving it up anytime soon.

You can purchase aTAKEphONE for $9.95 in the AndroidGuys software and accessory store.  Order it in July and we’ll save you 15% with promo code ATP15!

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