Dial Better With Dialvetica: An Evaluation

My application launcher of choice on my Mac is Alfred (with the Powerpack). On my iPhone however, well, there really is no application launcher at all.

Dial Better

On an iPhone

On an iPhone when you want to dial someone's number you have one of two options:

  1. Use the dial pad in the phone and enter in the number manually. Madness.
  2. Use the contacts search (whether in the standalone contacts app or in the phone app itself) to find a single contact.
  3. Tap the name.
  4. Tap the number you would like to call from all the available options in that contact card.

To text or email you are presented with a similar situation. You either run a contact search, tap tap tap, or open up the app in specific, search for a contact, and then tap tap tap until you can finally actually compose and send.

Dialvetica solves all that tapping and wasted time.

With Dialvetica

When you have Dialvetica on your iPhone, things go a lot faster. Here is how any of the aforementioned scenarios would play out:

  1. Open Dialvetica and start typing any letters, in any order, that are within the name of the person you want to call/text/email.
  2. Tap that person's name.

That's it.

Dialvetica speeds things up a lot, basically.


By now you're probably dying to see what it looks like (if you haven't elsewhere, already). Well please don't die. Here it is:

A few notes about the app UI:

  • It seems almost Android-ish
  • As you can tell, Dialvetica uses a custom keyboard that is far smaller allowing you to see more results at once. It also is not dependent on order, so, as stated above, you can type any letters of a person's name, in any order, and it'll know to pull that person up. That being said, if you absolutely hate it, you can switch to the normal iOS keyboard from within the settings (found in the Settings app).
  • The app is super fast. So much so it feels instant. I don't think I've ever waited for it.
  • When you first launch Dialvetica you see an auto generated list of your most usual contacts. This is sweet, especially as I don't think I ever used the favorites tab in the official Phone app other than to bookmark special AT&T numbers (to check data usage, etc.). A dynamic most usual contacts list was made for me. I know some people find it a little unsettling to see a newly reordered contact list every time they open the app, but I like it. A lot.
  • When you tap a name with multiple numbers for the first time, you are asked to choose a default number to call every time you tap that name in the future. As more often than not you only ever want to call the same number, the way in which this works is totally logical. If there comes a time when you would like to select a different number, simply tap and hold for a pop-up of all of that contact's numbers.
  • The way you text or email a person as opposed to calling them is by tapping on the little icons for texting and emailing next to the contact of your choice. Doing so, however, multi-task ninja swaps you into the email or text messaging app itself. Calling too brings up the calling overlay over the app but upon finishing your phone call, it returns you into the official phone app. Essentially, no calling/texting/emailing actually takes place within Dialvetica itself although, at least in terms of texting/emailing, it is entirely possible and allowed by Apple. Curious.

The Icon

The icon feels Android-ish as well.

Plus, the white grid design actually causes a famous optical illusion which makes the intersection points appear grey.

I'm not a huge fan of the icon.

An App Launcher of Sorts

I doubt there will every be any real sort of application launcher on the iPhone. Sure, there's Spotlight search now, but that's as good as it's going to get. Except for Dialvetica. Dialvetica is better.

For the calling, texting, and emailing app, there is no better way to get to it then through Dialvetica. It's fast and intuitive.

Trust me. You install Dialvetica on your iPhone, and you'll be popping in and out of the lightweight app so quickly you won't even realize it. No, I don't use Dialvetica nearly as often on my iPhone as I do Alfred on my Mac.

But there's still no doubt in my mind that Dialvetica is still more than just a cool contacts list.

It's an app launcher. Of sorts.

I Only Dial With Dialvetica

Not only do I always use the super-speedy, way-faster-than-the-built-in-phone, Dialvetica, but it completely replaced the built in phone on my homescreen.

Dialvetica is $1.99 in the App Store. Go grab it.