Buzz Contacts from Savvy Apps (US$0.99) is a fast way to reach contacts from your iPhone. Organize them into groups for one-tap access to phone calls, text messages, email or FaceTime sessions. The UI is about as clean and tidy as one can get and conveniences like pre-written text messages are quite helpful. Here's my look at Buzz Contacts for iPhone.
The no-frills, utilitarian look of Buzz Contacts is appropriate for a handy utility. Once you've set up some groups (more on that later), they're laid out on a 4 x 4 grid. Each contact is listed by name and an icon depicts the action associated with each button (phone, text, email or FaceTime). If a group contains more than four members, a swipe to the right reveals the next grid of four while a swipe to the left produces a list view.
A toolbar pops up from the bottom of the screen allowing for group actions, so you can send an email or a text, for example, to everyone at once. The large buttons are hard to miss, so the risk of unintended taps is nominal.
It's easy to create a group. I made one called "Family" which includes my wife, mother, father and two sisters. To begin, swipe to the right and tap "New Group." Next, tap the title to customize it and then tap the icon in the upper right.
A list of your contacts appears. Tap the one you'd like to add and chose the method of contact. Keep adding contacts in this fashion until "Page One" is filled, meaning you've added four contacts. You can re-arrage the order in this screen as well.
Make as many groups as you like, swiping to the right to toggle between groups. From there, you simply launch the app and tap the appropriate block to initiate just the type of communication you want: FaceTime with your sister, iPhone call to your co-worker, text message to your son or daughter. It's speedy and a time-saver.
Buzz Contacts also lets you call those not in a group from the dialer. To use the dialer, swipe to the right again and tap Dialer. A keypad appears. Start tapping a number and Buzz guesses which one you're after. Give it a tap and you're off.
There are a few thoughtful niceties in the app. Tapping a contact set up as an email or FaceTime session asks you to confirm your intention before placing the call, so you won't place accidental phone calls. Also, there's a list of pre-written text messages to choose from, like "Running Late. See you soon." and "On my way." Combine that with a group text message to send a lengthy message to the whole gang with little effort.
I love useful utilities and Buzz Contacts is one. Since I pretty much only call the people in my family group, I've replaced the phone app in my iPhone's Dock with Buzz Contacts. It's definitely worth a try at $0.99.