Contacts apps are hopeless


I have to admit that I didn’t do thorough research recently, but I did before. What gave rise to my search for a satisfying ‘phonebook’ for my cellphone, was that Skype – and others – decided to add all their contacts unasked to my ‘contacts’ app. Now I love to chat with people, but most of those people I don’t meet and never call, except for the occasional free Skype call. So it is pretty obvious that I don’t like to see my phonebook polluted with people that are supposed to have their own place somewhere in a separate communication app like Skype. What makes things worse in contact apps, is that the contact information is not merged with the other means of reaching these people – if available, or the merge doesn’t work properly. The contact app then just makes a new page for the same person in a different colour. I don’t know who comes up with this stuff, but there seriously is only one word for this : Hopeless. Because the technology is there.

Obviously, Skype forces their crap into our throats because they want the world to kick out their operators and replace them by their services – which surely is not happening at all – and they don’t give a damn about user friendliness. Sign of the times.

So why do I write this now? Because I just bought a new phone and nothing changed compared to two years ago. It is pretty clear that software companies are putting people under pressure to discard their phone functions in favour of VOIP solutions of which the quality often is inferior to phone quality (see my previous article), especially in developing countries.

Now Skype has more bad habits. The last couple of upgrades were genuinely terrible, mostly as far as the Skype contact list concerns. It becomes increasingly difficult to find people in the list and find the folks that sent messages, since they don’t appear on top any more. A truly pathetic failed attempt to once more adapt the desktop interface to the mobile interface. As if the public were asking for that.

I suppose there is a decent phonebook out there that just offers phone numbers, but let’s face it, shouldn’t that be the standard? Surely an email address should find it’s place in the contact page, but nowadays, there is this intatiable thirst for integration, and the people driving this thirst don’t seem to consider the practicality. Bottom line is : only a satisfying product will make the consumer happy. All the rest is a waste of time and effort, and the creation of needless frustration of the user.

note: So I switched off automatic updates from Skype and deleted Skype contacts before adding my contacts to my phone book.