Phones have gotten smarter over the years, but managing contacts remains a pretty tedious affair. Syncing information saved on Android devices with a Google account prevents having to manually transfer them every time you move to a new gadget, but this does nothing to stop the periodic Facebook status updates informing mass numbers of people at once that you or your friend's phone has gone for a swim or jumped off a roller coaster, and as a result, the number has changed.
It's still Update Wednesday here in San Francisco, and just when I thought I was done for the day, Google decided to upload yet another new version of one of its core apps - Calendar v201404011. And it's a big one, folks.
Location suggestions of nearby places
The main change in this update finally addresses (no pun intended) what I consider the most requested feature missing from Calendar for Android, which is actually present in Calendar on the web - location suggestions for places known to Google Maps.
I've known my wife for five years now, and I still struggle to remember her phone number. The only numbers I know are those I can recall from before getting my first mobile phone, and since I have lost touch with nearly everyone from back then, that has largely been reduced down to immediate family members. For everyone else, there's a People app, and all I've had to do to dial them is start typing their name.
Dexetra Software, the team behind apps like Iris and Friday, recently brought a new creation to the Play Store with dialapp, a dialer that provides a similar experience to Android's stock dialer, but has one (big) twist: dialapp attempts to guess who you want to call before you even open it.
Basically, by learning from your communication habits based on location, time, and calendar information, the app "magically" knows who you're likely to call, floating those contacts to the top of your call history screen.
Perhaps the most time-saving key on the Android keyboard is the microphone, but using it is more hassle than it's worth when certain words just refuse to be recognized. More often than not, these words are contact names. Luckily, there is a way to trick your phone into recognizing even the most tongue-twisting of names. If you're tired of your phone turning "Demonte Jones" into "Demon's bones," just teach it to recognize the latter as the former.
Today, Facebook made an announcement that's probably bigger than it seems at first glance. Now, if you want to use Facebook Messenger, you no longer need to have an account with the social networking giant. This, quite simply, is a really big deal that could easily go overlooked. The app can be used to message contacts via just their phone number, create group conversations, and share photos. Of course, you could do this with Messenger before, as SMS was an available option.
Looking to give users the "fastest, smartest launcher for Android," Jesse Andersen brought Conjure to the Play Store recently. The app, which is actually more of a launcher companion, can perform an incredible range of actions, from finding and launching apps to calling contacts, adjusting device settings (like volume, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, etc.), and searching the web.
What's great about this app is not that it can do a lot, but that it actually adapts to your usage, storing a history of actions and listing content results by frequency of use.
As our address books become more advanced and we become more and more inundated with information, it can become difficult to keep up with all the people we need to interact with on a regular basis. NextCall augments your address book by letting you rank important contacts, set alerts for when you need to call them, and sort your contacts into business and personal categories.
The app will keep track of how long it has been since you last called a certain contact, so you can keep track of who you've been neglecting.
Some people are simply amazing with remembering faces. I'm not one of them. Evernote, creator of the widely-renowned note-taking app of the same name, has set out to help me with Evernote Hello. I guess you guys can use the app too. The app is a visual contact list that puts your contacts' faces front and center. It even allows you to take down notes of how you met someone, and tie notes in your Evernote account to your contacts' encounters.