Mini Review: Resco Contact Manager Beta, Free for Now
Resco has recently just launched a freely downloadable version of their upcoming Contact Manager, currently in Beta state. It’s intended as a default Contacts application replacement with the ability to replace the dialer and offer Call History and SMS support.
First thing to notice after installing the application is that the soft button on TouchFLO 3D that says All People still launches the Windows default Contacts (while the Today screen, after disabling TouchFLO 3D launches directly Resco Contact Manager) so you’ll need to go to Programs and launch it manually (or reprogram TouchFLO 3D soft button to point to Resco Contact Manager) from its folder where you have several icons: Call History, Contacts, Favorites, Options and SMS Inbox. Read on for more!
Starting with the Options, you’ll have the ability to enable or disable call handling for incoming calls, which if enabled, will bring up a full screen window with the information related to the caller, photo (if available) and the options of Answer, SMS or Decline. While I found the Touch HDs default slide to answer or reject screen nicer, I’ve disabled this option. Next you have the option to show SIM contacts and prompt before deletion which both are self explanatory. One thing to note is that Resco Contact Manager reprograms your green button (the send/call/answer key) and here you can set it’s behavior to not override default settings or bring up Resco Contact Manager’s keypad, show call history, show favorite contacts, show all contacts or show SMS inbox. You can also group your contacts in 4 groups: All, One Day, One Week, One Month.
Still in Settings, Display tab, you have the option to select a skin but there’s none available, so I think there will be some skins developed in the future. Here you can also have the side alphabetic letter bar auto-hide. E-mail tab will let you choose the default E-mail account to use, Statistics tab will let you select the Billing day (1-31) and you have the About tab at the end that on my copy sais Resco Contact Manager v0.91.
Resco Contact Manager features five tabs represented by the same number of bottom icons. From left to right: Favorites, Contacts, History, SMS and Keypad.
Favorites tab is where all your favorite contacts will be added if/when selected so.
Contacts tab will display all your contacts available on your Device and SIM card, with a layout including Photo (if any; if not, a default John Doe photo will be used), Name (with bolded Last Name) and Number. List is flick-scroll enabled so you can easily swipe up and down to scroll or run your finger over the side alphabetic bar similar to HTC’s Random Access. Tapping a name will go one screen deeper and display five buttons that say: Call Mobile, Call Home, Call Work, Send SMS and eMail. One thing I’ve noticed is that even if the Contact does not have a number defined (for instance Work), the button will still be visible but grayed out. I believe it would have been better replaced with another button for other functionality or removed. Bottom buttons enable you to have a “card display” of your Contact with all the information available (even empty cells), review Call History related to that specific contact Chat (which displays a nice threaded style display with all the text messages you’ve exchanged with that specific contact) and a Menu at the far end with options to Edit the Contact, Delete it, Beam it to another device via Bluetooth or IrDA (if supported by device), Send as SMS, Add to Favorites and Set RingTone.
History tab displays a full Call History of all your Incoming, Outgoing and Missed calls, with options to delete, group, ungroup and statistics (which shows a summary of them).
SMS tab is similar to Windows default text message handler as per threaded display. It will show a picture of your Contact and display the text of the last message sent to or received from that contact. Tapping the conversation will bring up the whole activity on that.
Keypad brings up a dialer-like keypad which lets you input numbers. There is also filtering like there is with HTC’s dialer, for instance. Starting number input will filter your contacts as per narrowing down the options in the contact list based on the already entered numbers. Tapping the Green button will still bring up the default Windows dialer (which in my case is the HTC’s dialer) so there’s no support for that, the way there is for the incoming call screen.
In addition, Resco Contact Manager installs a Today Screen plugin which users with non TouchFLO 3D devices can use (TouchFLO 3D users will need to choose between Manila and the classic Today Screen), similar to HTC Home, sporting a Clock and Date with Alarm, shortcuts for Missed Calls, SMS, E-Mail and quick access buttons for Bluetooth and WiFi. There’s no weather in this one so if you use the weather tab on HTC Home you will have to give that one up for Resco’s Today plugin.
I find Resco Contact Manager a graphically pleasant application with a lot of features which will need improvement (which is understandable, as this is still a Beta version). I hope to see some nice skins from the author to match most tastes and I sure hope that this will be an application that Resco will keep free for everyone. Graphics look nice (especially on HTC Touch HD’s WVGA screen), finger scrolling works well (even though I wish it had side swiping gesture support for tab navigation) and it looks stable. As a free download, it’s definitely worth a look!