Although some people might not like to admit it, out of all our friends and family members, we all have our favorite ones which we hold in higher regard than others. Obviously we don’t go around shouting it from the top of hilltops, but the game is given away when we check the ‘Favorites’ section of the iPhone’s Phone app. Some of us try and spare the feelings of others by saying it just contains the people we contact the most, but deep down we all know its because they are our favorite people.
With all joking aside, the favorites section of the Phone app is very useful and does give users the ability to make quick phone calls to a select few people, but what if we want to email that person or send them a text message as opposed to a voice or FaceTime call? The Homescreen Contacts tweak by yeahwangy aims to keep that quick access ability, but also add some additional power through a totally different implementation. After installation of the tweak, users will find that a new ‘Add to Homescreen’ button has been added to the individual contacts view through the device’s Address Book. When inside of a contact, pressing this new button will create an entirely new icon on the home screen with the name of the chosen person.
The icon looks like a standard app icon but functions like a native iOS folder which when tapped, provides a fairly native looking folder animation that contains all of the contact information that is associated with that particular contact. The folder is scrollable, meaning that it doesn’t matter if you have a large amount of information for the contact such as mobile and landline numbers, email addresses, postal addresses and FaceTime contact details. One of the good things about the tweak is that all information is usable and makes use of what I imagine are iOS URL schemas to invoke the correct application based on the selected content.
As an example of this, tapping on ‘Send a Message’ will compose a new text message in the Messages app. Tapping on a mobile number will invoked an instance of a telephone call within the Phone app and tapping on a postal address will load the native Maps app with directions and details from the current location. If the selected contact has an individual image assigned to them, this will be used as the home screen icon, something that adds a little touch of personalization to the device’s screen. Although the icons don’t change on the fly if amended through the Contacts app, one of the nice little touches of this tweak is the ability to edit the contacts’ photographs from within the Homescreen Contacts preferences without having to totally delete the entry and start all over again.
Homescreen Contacts is a nice idea that is pleasantly implemented by the developer. Although I can’t see a huge amount of people rushing out to pay the $1.99 price, I can see it being popular with those users who actually require a little more functionality from their Favorites section. The package is available to download from the BigBoss repository for $1.99 and is only compatible with an iPhone or iPod touch running iOS 5 or above.