Callism Makes Your Phone a Phone Again

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It’s always great when a third-party app replaces a bad stock Apple app. Mailbox killed Mail, Drafts shamed Notes, Google destroyed Maps, et cetera, et cetera. And now there’s another one for the list – this time for the phone: Callism.

I know what you’re thinking. “I never call people anyway.” But that’s Callism’s point. It simplifies an already infrequent task. Most people find themselves calling only a handful of people, and the process of scrolling through a list of contacts feels redundant. Callism learns from your habits and puts that handful of people at the top of your list. That in itself should be enough to trump the first-party phone app.

But then there’s the design. When I say it belongs on iOS 7, I don’t just mean it uses Helvetica Light and bright colors. It incorporates both, then takes it a step further. “Layers” in the app aren’t sheets of semi-opaque glass, but are diagonal drop-downs that fracture the screen.

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Open the T9 dialer and you find the custom typeface Callism designed for the app. It’s odd – somewhat reminiscent of the London 2012 Olympics typeface – but refreshing in an app desert of Helvetica Light.

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Callism reminds your iPhone that it’s a smartphone – and looks good doing it. In terms of usability, it’s an interface that understands how we make phone calls nowadays and eliminates redundant steps. And in design, the whole thing seems to be a playful nudge to the iOS 7 look. Clean, colorful, and minimal – yet still rattles the cages a bit. It’s a great addition to the list of stock iOS replacements.

Pick up Callism for iOS here.

October 9, 2013 / By