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Want to learn more about why I made Interact? Stay here and finish reading this post.
Contacts are great. Having contact records for the people we interact with regularly makes life easier. Creating and maintaining a list of contacts, however, is not fun – in fact it’s a bit of a drag. It’s especially a drag on iOS. As a result of this, most of us never maintain that list at all. We throw new contacts in from time to time - usually with incomplete information, or don’t bother to create them at all and dig through mail and message histories to try to find the right number or email address.
At WWDC in the Summer of 2015, Apple announced a new Contacts framework to work with data in the Contacts accounts on iOS (and OS X) and I started thinking about ways I could remove some of the hurdles that come between people and their contacts on iOS. Interact is the result, and I’m very happy to get it out there in the world.
My primary goals building Interact were:
- Support the creation and management of contact groups on iOS. A feature currently missing from the built-in Contacts app and that has always been a personal frustration for me. I like to make contact groups for potential destinations when I travel, restaurants I regularly order take out from, and many other clusters of related records. The inability to manage these on the go made the fact the groups existed somewhat useless.
- Make it easier to create complete contact records. From an email address jotted down in Drafts to an email signature with addresses and phone numbers, I found it painful to get that information into a contact with all the correct information.
- Improve communication making it easier to select recipients and share with my contacts.
- Do all this without compromising the integrity and privacy of your Contact data. Other contacts solutions I’ve seen in the past require you to upload your contact data to yet another service or allow that service access to your accounts. Or worse, the apps clutter your contact records with data and values you didn’t want added to your Contact records and can’t get rid of easily.
I believe Interact 1.0 delivers on all these goals, plus a few other conveniences.
The group management features unlock the nascent power of groups. The Contact Scratchpad takes chunks of text from anywhere and turns it into useful contact information, simplifying the creation of complete contact records. The share extension and context features make it quicker and easier to message and email multiple recipients – especially when working with multiple attachments from different sources.
I hope you’ll give Interact a try and let us know what else you’d like to see in updates in the future! It is a 1.0 product, with lots of room for improvement.