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> Review :: Photo Contacts 2.0 by PocketX, Rating 4.5 out of 5
Sean
post Jan 19 2005, 04:16 PM
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Phone: Cingular Blackjack
Carrier: AT&T Wireless/Cingular
PocketPC: HTC
MP3 Player: iPod Nano
PMC: Creative Zen
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One of the key things that kept a PocketPC in my pocket every day after I bought my MPx200 was that I couldn't keep all 693 of my contacts on my phone and still see caller ID. I guess I don't really need caller ID but I like caller ID, I like it a lot. There is a underlying problem with the software in the MPx200 and the i600 that if you have more than around 200 numbers in your phone you will never see the name pop up on the caller ID screen. This drove me crazy.Well, two days ago the news broke about a new upgrade to Photo Contacts from PocketX that would fix this problem. I had to try this out and contacted them immediately to see what was going on. Basically the deal is this, their new software overrides the function built into the ROM and now you have caller ID, and you even have caller ID with pictures which I think may actually help me out in life.Version 2.0 features the following goodies:-  Featuring 2 new Photo Caller ID modes (SIMPLE mode displays a smaller photo, THEMED mode displays a medium sized photo) -  Awesome new photo adjust engine lets you crop and adjust contact photographs on the Smartphone -  Photo image browser lets you easily assign photos to contacts on the phone (great for camera phones). SmartName is still the preferred option for assigning many contact photos at once. -  SMS/MMS/Email support facilitates easy message sending through Photo Contacts -  Contact photos can now be sent via MMS, Email and Infrared (via PhotoBeam)-  Caller ID Name Override feature fixes the Caller ID bug in US based Smartphones (i600, MPX-200)-  Option to enable continuous ring-tones -  Ability to sort contacts by Company Name -  Photo ZOOM feature (just press * to display a large photograph of the selected contact) -  Incoming Call forwarding info is shown in Themed Photo Caller ID (support varies by network) -  Enhanced call dialog remembers the last selected number for each contact for Talk-Talk functionality -  Automatic auto-run at startup loads Photo Contacts in the background-  Enhanced support for memory cards -  Performance improvements across the board (everything is faster!) Ok, so that is a big list. Let's check it out.Good News...The install was smooth, no issues at all. I installed the software on my storage card but it only takes 476KB of memory so you may be able to squeeze it into base RAM. Once installed you need to power cycle your phone to make it take effect. I did this and then called my phone from a landline and badda-bing! Caller ID instantly. I have noticed that the screen lights up with the caller ID even before the phone rings some times. Nice.My first version of this review included some of what I called bugs and I would like to make a revision to them now. After publication of the review I had some contact with the developer of the software and they explained my mistakes that led to the situations I described.When you want to scroll the database of entries you can use the keypad to jump to different points in the alphabet, click 8 for T, 8 again for u, and 8 a third time gets you a V. You can use this same functionality to jump into the database of pictures to use the photos to dial your contacts, what was that guys name? Find them by picture if you have had a temporary brain fade.I love the look of the caller ID screen with this program running. It is very clean and clear. The type style and white background is a nice change from the stock colors from Microsoft. There is a lot of additional functionality this program adds. Once the MPx camera is available we will be able to shoot pictures directly into your caller ID. You can beam photos and receive them also. One more feature that you can use here is to use this as a photo dialer too.The best feature in this software has to be the SmartName function, this solves the problem of how do I assign many pictures to many contacts quickly. All you have to do is drop a 120 x 120 image in the "Photo Contacts" folder on the storage card on the phone (which ever is selected in the programs options) with the name as it is in your Outlook contact. An example is "Sean Murphy.jpg", this would automatically assign the photo to the Sean Murphy contact with no more effort required. It is so easy to do.For more information on the SmartName feature (or any other feature on the phone) you can see theonline documentation here. You can also see some navigational quick view guides here andhere.There are several different views available to see your photo contacts that allow for as much or as little detail as you want. You can also select different backgrounds to customize the look and feel of your phone.I think photos of my family and friends on the ID is nothing more than a party trick but there is one good reason for photos in my book. The reason I like the photos is this... in my day job I deal with around 70+ salesmen and sales reps. If I can (somehow) get all their pictures and for the ones who I have met and sort of remember, I will now have a name and a face to talk to. This will help a bunch to remember who they all are.(There have been some accusations around the web that version 1.0 of the software is what caused the Caller ID problems in the first place but based on conversations with the guys at PocketX and the fact that I never had version 1.0 on my phone and I had the problem, I would have to say that there is no correlation that I have seen.)I think I would call Photo Contacts 2.0 a must have app, this is one that I won't remove right after the review. You cangrab it here or see the PocketX website here.



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Sean Murphy
Editor
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Main Devices - Cingular 8125, Sony/Ericsson GC83 Edge Card, PSP, Creative ZEN PMC, iPod Nano, Mobile Crossing BT GPS
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