The Treo series has always had good phone interfaces. They never were too artsy, but always served their masters well…this was how a phone app for a smartphone should be. Phoney. The debut of Apple’s iPhone, however, shook up the rules given above. Suddenly, visuals were in and photos were cool – GX5′s DialByPhoto is such a GUI phone app for Palm OS. Can it stack up in everyday use?

DialByPhoto essentially has two modes of operation – contacts view mode and overview mode. The overview mode aims to ‘replace’ the phone home screen. It provides information about incoming email, appointments and also presents a few contacts. The possible styles are shown below:
0a DialByPhoto review 0b DialByPhoto review 0c DialByPhoto review 0d DialByPhoto review

Contacts view crams 9 contacts into view simultaneously, but omits some of the information found on the overview screen:
1a DialByPhoto review

Creating a photo contact from an existing contact is easy – all you need to do is select the correct contact and set a few options:
2a DialByPhoto review

Calling a contact works either by tapping the contact’s name or by clicking on it(this involves a confirmation screen). A dial pad is available, too! Placing a call opens Palm’s classic phone app….
3a DialByPhoto review 3b DialByPhoto review

DialByPhoto has its own contact list browser, too. Finding a contact there allows you to send an SMS directly – but it doesn’t allow the editing of contact info:
4a DialByPhoto review

The web integration is pretty nifty, as the app allows you to jump directly to search results. However, as of this review, the Google jumping didn’t work on my Treo…
5a DialByPhoto review 5b DialByPhoto review

The real zinger behind DialByPhoto is the customizeability. You can set a screen background of choice, and then add a color ‘overlay’ for even more styling options:
6a DialByPhoto review

Contacts can have images or vector icons as ‘picture tag’. Icons can be downloaded on the go right from the DialByPhoto UI – however, the app gets very slow when icon libraries are opened.
7a DialByPhoto review 7b DialByPhoto review 7c DialByPhoto review

The only real weakness I found is the preferences dialog. Finding the correct option is a bit difficult for a beginner though:
8a DialByPhoto review 8b DialByPhoto review

This review focussed on version 1.4005 of the program. It takes about 1.5MB of RAM, and worked stably on my Palm Treo 680.

Overall, DialByPhoto is an interesting take on the ever-constant business phone app market. DialByPhoto isn’t the most efficient app on the market – but that’s not what it should be. Instead, it is a cool-looking and customizable app that is fun to use and look at! If you like a cool-looking phone app, definitely make use of the free trial period!

Use the discount code DIALME to get 20% off at the TamsShop!

Related posts:

  1. UltimatePhone review – give your Treo a new ‘UI’
  2. TreoWeather review – a weather forecast tool for your Treo
  3. SpeedDial for Treo – the review
  4. Gizmo Project for Treo – the review
  5. ToolboxToGo – the review

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