Phone Scoop

printed September 16, 2014
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Review: Apple iPhone 4S for AT&T

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Menus Calls/Contacts Messaging Siri  

Apple has done little to improve the phone and contacts applications in iOS, and that's a shame. The phone application looks identical to the one that shipped in the original iPhone way back in 2007.

Tap the phone icon to go to the phone app. It generally takes you to whichever phone function you most recently used. Five smallish tabs along the bottom let you jump between favorites, recent calls, contacts, the keypad, and voicemail. In-call options let you add a line, switch to Bluetooth, go to the speakerphone, and so on; nothing superlative or unique.

 

Click a thumbnail above for a larger view.

The contact application, too, is almost identical to iOS 1.0. It offers plenty of room for phone numbers, email addresses, street addresses, and so on, but it lacks integration with social networks, which Android and Windows Phone 7 have done very well. Even RIM integrated Facebook enough so that you can see FB messages in the native email client. Sure, you can add Facebook profile pictures and such to contact cards in iOS, but you can't see your recent SMS conversations, or Facebook comments, etc.

The lack of social networking within the contact application is a real missed opportunity that Apple will hopefully address in a later version of iOS.

I also miss being able to set calling and/or contact shortcuts on the home screen, as you can do with Android and Windows Phone devices. Some of the "people" and "contacts" widgets available on Android phones are excellent. iOS really lacks in that department.

 

Click a thumbnail above for a larger view.

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