Buzz Contacts 2.0 for iPhone review

Buzz Contacts by savvy apps has received a major update that makes the already awesome contacts app even more awesome. Some of the features include integration with Agenda Calendar, themes, the ability to share contact info, and a new and improved Dialer. Buzz Contacts is essentially a replacement for Apple's built-in Phone app -- and an awesome replacement it is!

One of big changes to Buzz Contacts is to bring the focus back to the Dialer. Now before you roll your eyes and exclaim that dialers are way too "old school" for you, let me assure you that Buzz's Dialer is anything by old school --it's highly functional and efficient. The first difference you notice about Buzz's Dialer versus, say, Apple's keypad is that it emphasizes the letters associated with each button instead of the numbers. That's because you can use the Dialer to type in the name of contacts. Actually, you can type in names, initials, or phone numbers and Buzz will instantly show all types of matches as you type. It's awesome. Seriously.

In addition to the Dialer, Buzz Contacts also lets you create groups of contacts. For each contact, you specifically choose which method of communication you wish to use: voice call, text message, email, or FaceTime. You can view your groups as a list or as 2x2 grids. The groups are awesome for quickly interacting with contacts you frequently communicate with. Between groups and the dialer, Buzz is worth the measly $0.99, but there's more.

There is a somewhat hidden feature of Buzz Contacts called the contact detail view. At any screen that displays contacts in a grid or a list with arrows beside each contact (groups and Dialer), you can double-tap the contact (or tap the arrow) to make a special menu appear. From here you can choose a type of communication to engage with the contact from the bottom toolbar, view contact information, add the contact to a group, or send contact info via email or text or schedule a meeting with Agenda Calendar (also made by savvy apps) or Due. This integration with Agenda and Due is a great convenience if you use either of those apps.

New to Buzz 2.0 are subtle themes that give the app personality. These themes are simply a change to the color of the tool bar. You can change the theme by swiping left or right on the title bar, or you can view all the colors at once in Buzz's settings to choose your favorite. I really like the swiping feature because it allows me to frequently change the theme for variety. My only complaint about the themes is that out of the 14 available colors, none of them are pink!

The good

  • Awesomely efficient Dialer
  • 14 different themes (colors)
  • Schedule in Agenda or Due via the contact detail view
  • Send contact info via message or email via the contact detail view
  • Swipe into and out of Dialer -"Frequent" and "Outgiong" groups
  • Send SMS and MMS messages to groups

The bad

  • No pink theme :P

The conclusion

Buzz Contacts 2.0 is a remarkable phone app for the iPhone. I tossed Calendar aside a long time ago in favor of savvy apps' Agenda Calendar, and now Apple's Phone app has been kicked to curb for Buzz Contacts. My only complaint is that I must still use the built-in Phone app to check voicemail -- a restriction of Apple that is beyond savvy apps' control.

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Leanna Lofte

Former app and photography editor at iMore, Leanna has since moved on to other endeavors. Mother, wife, mathamagician, even though she no longer writes for iMore you can still follow her on Twitter @llofte.

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Buzz Contacts 2.0 for iPhone review

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It's automatically synced with iPhone Contacts! It's a two-way sync, too. So if you make changes to a contact with Buzz, it will update Contacts, which consequently updates in iCloud and any desktop client you may use.

Nice write-up, Leanna. Thanks. A couple of questions:

With Buzz, can I set up as many Group categories as I wish to create?
Are the categories preset or do I create my own?
Can a contact be included in more than one category?

Yes, you can have as many groups as you want. You create your own groups and name them whatever you want. Although "frequent" and "outgoing" are presets that you can't get rid off. Yes, any contact can appear in as many groups as you want. Each group is independent of the others.

Thanks for the reply, Leanna. I'll look into this app some more. It may be what I've been looking for.

Thanks for the reply, Leanna. I'll look into this some more. It may be what I've been looking for. :-)

I'd have liked large resolution contact pictures instead of the plain square with names on the screen, but that's just me

"My only complaint is that I must still use the built-in Phone app to check voicemail -- a restriction of Apple that is beyond savvy apps' control."

Why no use a service like YouMail and download their app

The app appears to be 1.99 and not .99 as mentioned in the article. Looking forward to trying this out!