Review: Callism6th Nov, 2013
A sexy dialer app designed for iOS 7.
It’s no secret that most of us don’t use our phones to make calls anymore. Callism, the intelligent dialer app, is hoping to change that a little by bringing some sleek innovation back to the good old-fashioned phone call. All for the low price of $0.99.
Feature wise, this app is about exactly what you would expect. It makes phone calls. But Callism also tries to be your primary contacts app as well, and it does a reasonable job. All your contacts are listed in alphabetical order to begin with, but Callism will shuffle them around based on how frequently you call them. The goal is that your frequent contacts are always a tap away.
But beyond calling your contacts, Callism can add tags to them. Tags become useful when searching or browsing, as it’s possible to browse by tags. Having a party? Build your guest list in Callism and calling them all is a cinch.
And while all of these features are nice, the design is really what sticks out here. Callism was clearly built for iOS 7’s new aesthetic. Everything is flat with light typography and small splashes of color. Contacts are represented as small circles of either their photo or a light pastel color.
Tapping the top left corner reveals a sliding panel containing your tags. Tapping a tag will show all the contacts you’ve put under said tag. Alternatively, tapping the bottom right corner slides in contact search. By default it uses a T9 keypad for typing, but there’s a small keyboard icon to pull up a QWERTY keyboard if that’s more your style. The keypad also serves as your dialer to call any number.
The only issue I have with the keypad is the font choice for the numbers. Not only is it kind of ugly, it’s difficult to read at first glance. Most of us know where numbers lie on a keypad, but that’s hardly an excuse to make them unreadable.
The more interesting interaction lies directly with contacts, though. A long tap of any contact will put a brightly colored ring around them. If you let go, you’ll be prompted to make the call. However, while holding the contact it’s possible to slide your finger left or right to cycle through the other actions: view contact info, view tags, or – my personal favorite - set a reminder to call. Each action is indicated by its own color and icon on the contact circle making it fairly easy to see what you’re selecting. Reminders have default options for “30 minutes later”, “this evening” or “tomorrow”, but there’s a nice big “pick a time” button to be more specific.
Overall, Callism brings an interesting appeal to the dull world of phone dialers. More than a boring old keypad, Callism is a great example of what’s possible with modern interface design in Apple’s next generation of iOS. Font choices aside, it is astoundingly attractive. So much so that it almost makes me want to make more phone calls. Almost.
Callism: 2/5 piles of poo.