Okay, I admit it, I don’t have any photos associated with contacts, so using any sort of photo dialer is pretty much pointless for me. But Faces looked pretty interesting, so I thought I would give it a try.
First off, a word of warning – on the iTunes page describing Faces, they have cute little avatars that are used to represent the different people. These avatars do not come with the program. I was disappointed to find that out, since I was hoping I could simply choose from a library of avatars instead of relying on contact photos. So keep that in mind.
Faces is a program whose goal is to decrease the amount of time you spend trying to contact…well…a contact. You can create a icon in the faces page for a specific type of contact – email, SMS, phone call to a specific phone number, etc. That way, when you tap the icon, you initiate that specific contact type – sending an email to my wife, sending a SMS message to my brother in law, etc. So rather than choosing a contact and then choosing what you want to do, this speeds up the process. Each icon has a small logo to indicate if it is to send an email, SMS message, or phone call.
If you do want to engage in some other means to contact, you can simply hold the icon down for any given contact person, and you will be given the options to send an email, phone call (and then choose the phone number), SMS message, etc. You can also edit contacts, choose a photo for fast recognition, access a website for them, or use google maps to find their address.
Basically, you can think of Faces as a speed dial app, but not limited to simply dialing numbers. At least that is how I think of it. Within the app, you can create multiple page labels – so one page label for family, one for work, one for friends – as many as you need. Each page can hold 12 different tiles. It is possible to create multiple tiles for the same contact so that you can have a quick tap for a mobile phone, a quick tap for home phone, or a quick tap for email. Personally, I would just create one tile with the most common method of communication, since you can still access all the others simply by holding the tile down. You can also re-order the tiles, putting them in any order you choose.
Any changes you make can be synched to the contact list (and vice versa) but doing so will slow down the load time. There are a few other minor visual settings that can be tweaked, but nothing major. Rather than go for a lot of flash and a dizzying array of option, the app is streamlines to try to meet its goal of quick communication and ease of use.
I found the app very easy to manipulate and very intuitive. The interface is straightforward and easy to understand. The options are presented clearly. My biggest let down was the fact that it didn’t come with a pre-programmed library of “faces”, which I thought it would (but in fairness, the app didn’t say it had it anywhere). If I had a lot of photos for contacts, this would probably be a great photo-dial . As it is, I think it still would potentially be a useful for a speed-message type of list.
I do like the fact that the customization is limited, so you don’t have to choose every single aspect you want to customize. But it might be nice adding a few more colors or design pattern in, so that you can at least change the background color or something like that.
On a side note, it has a nice landscape mode as well! The picture with the green "plusses" is when you are adding a contact icon - normally you just see the icons, as seen in the last image.
Pros: Nice interface, easy to understand and use, limited customization options
Cons: No library of images included, limited customization options
All in all, this is a really nice program for creating a speed dial or photo dial list. You can manage contacts, still access other ways of contacting them, but you can put the most often used as the first method that is tried. Even without having any photos with my contacts, I am contemplating using this full time. At $2.99, the price is not cheap, but it isn’t too bad. I figure it is worth the cost if you are looking for some sort of speed-dialer or photo-dialer, or if you just want to organize you contact list into manageable groups. Four out of five stars.
* = No redeeming qualities or features, probably not worth it even if it is free
** = Few redeeming qualities, or is simply isn't worth the price
*** = Some good features but also some clear flaws.
**** = A solid app, worth the money if interested, a few flaws or problems or slightly overpriced
***** = Top of the line app, no problems or drawbacks.
Price is factored into the ratings. Ratings are lowered if I feel the price of the app outweighs the benefits/enjoyment/features it provides. Likewise, an app that is a good value for the money will have a higher rating.