Contaqs - the Contact Manager ($1.99) by entwicklungsschmiede UG & Co KG is a sleek way to manage your contacts through your iOS devices. We’ve covered contact apps before, such as Buzz Contacts and ReachFast Contacts, so we’re certainly no stranger to these types of apps. So is Contaqs still worth checking out?
First off, I love the sleek design of the interface. It kind of reminds me of apps like Evomail, but for contacts. Everything is laid out in an intuitive fashion that is easy to understand, while making things (well, most) easier than the native contacts app.
When you launch Contaqs for the first time, you’ll get a tutorial screen that you can skip if you want. However, it’s a bit different than simpler contact managers, so I recommend giving it a quick skim.
Once you grant the app permission to your contacts, you will be on the Contacts screen. By default, Contaqs will access all of the accounts on your iPhone or iPad that have contact information stored on them. To change which accounts get shown in the app, tap on the “hamburger” button in the top left to reveal the side-panel navigational menu, and then scroll to the bottom for Settings.
In Settings, you can choose the accounts to show or hide, as well as the default start page, toggle for formatting numbers and notifications for updates, as well as setting your own contact, birthday reminders, and deletion of the cache.
While you see the side panel menu, you will notice that there are different groups for your contacts, and other sections of the app. Each of these are organized by category with a number count badge when appropriate, so it’s all clear what you’re looking at. Overview has New Contact, Favorites, Contacts, and Groups, which are all pretty self-explanatory. Communication features a keypad, which you can use to dial a number or search for contacts. Birthdays has Birthdays (lists chronologically), Upcoming, and a Birthday Calendar. Location will feature Map (shows all contacts who you have an address for) and Contacts Nearby (prompts for Location Services). Smart Lists has a handful of pre-made lists already, which basically filter out all of your contacts by fields like Company, Friends & Colleagues, Nickname, Facebook, Without Phone Number, and more. It may be tedious to go through, but the app has done much of the legwork for you.
Additionally, a search field is available at the top of the side panel, and it will always remain at the top, even if you scroll. Contaqs can search by name, company, phone number, address, or even face. No matter what you’re looking for, Contaqs will find it! Results are also delivered quickly, in real-time.
No matter which view you’re in, viewing contacts will be in the same format. Everyone is sorted alphabetically by last name, and you will see their contact image, name, company, and main contact information displayed. Tap on the filter button in the top left corner to change the sort settings, such as by First Name, Company, and more.
Facebook contacts are indicated with the “f” icon on top of their avatar. Tapping on the contact will take you to the detail screen, where you can see all information for the person, as well as add them to your Favorites (heart button), or edit information. For avatars, you can pull the circle down to reveal a larger image in the background. Any contact can have a shortcut added to the home screen for one-tap access, as well.
Contaqs also has nifty swiping gestures to make your life easier. Swiping on a contact card from right-to-left reveals options for emailing the person’s v-card to someone else, as well as a button for editing details. If you swipe left-to-right, you get buttons to email, send a SMS, or dial them. Pretty nifty, right?
And if you have started to create your own groups (done in the Groups view), you can tap-and-drag a contact into one of your custom groups, or even drag them to the trash can for deletion. Keep in mind that Facebook contacts are read-only, so they cannot be edited or deleted.
Of course, moving people one-by-one into groups or deleting them is not fun, and can prove to be a tedious task when you need to repeat the process for quite a few people. Fortunately, Contaqs allows batches, which can be done by tapping on the edit button in the top right. Then, you just select all of the people you want to edit (or select all/none at the top), and then tap on the center of the top header bar. You can then email, SMS, copy, or send the selected contacts, or even add them all to favorites, move them to a group, or delete them.
A Backup feature comes with Contaqs, which will save your contact information in a file, and then emailed as an attachment to every account source that you use in the app. This is a very handy feature, and necessary (better safe than sorry) when you use their Remove Duplicate feature. Just select the sources, and the app will weed out duplicates clogging up your address book.
For birthdays, Contaqs is also able to send notifications to remind you, so you never forget a birthday in your hectic life.
So far, I have to admit that I’m pretty impressed with Contaqs. However, it’s a shame that there is no way to merge contacts together, rather than having multiples of them from different sources (like Facebook). While the app can certainly remove duplicates, it just can’t merge them. I’m not sure why this is, but I hope that the developers can actually figure out a way to implement this, as it would definitely be nice.
If you’re looking for a sleek way to organize and manage your contacts, as well as easier ways to contact people and get some context on your friends and family (location), then you should take a look at Contaqs. It’s sleek, powerful, and a universal app for your iPhone and iPad (there aren’t many contact managers for the iPad). Get it in the App Store for $1.99.