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Cardhop for iOS debuts, bringing Fantastical-like interactive contacts experience to iPhone and iPad

Flexibits shipped its Fantastical-like answer to dealing with contacts on the Mac when Cardhop debuted a year and a half ago. Fast-forward to today and Cardhop is now ready to make our contacts libraries manageable on iPhones and iPads too.

Cardhop for iOS is loaded with clever tricks and considered design decisions. I’ve been testing the launch version for a few days now and these details are some of my favorite so far:

  • Dark mode for contacts! Cardhop features an OLED-friendly dark mode and a standard light mode as options. The default mode is a hybrid state that makes the contacts data base dark themed while the “cards” for each contact are light themed.
  • Notes you can use! Apple’s built-in Contacts app features a section for adding notes to contact cards, but it’s so buried and inaccessible that you may not even know that — much less rely on it for recalling important details when you need it. Cardhop promotes the notes section to a real feature that you can easily access when viewing any contact card. The notes panel is persistent, resizable, and lets you easily append timestamps to new entries.
  • Favorites widget! Cardhop has its own Favorites section for organizing your top contacts, and the first 4 to 12 contacts listed will appear in the Cardhop widget.

  • Business card with control! Apple’s Contacts app lets you easily share your personal contact card with others, but you don’t always want people you just met to know your birthday, address, relatives, and all the other data that we store on our contacts cards to make our digital lives work. Cardhop solves this problem with a special feature that lets you control what’s on your “business card” by giving you the option to include and omit specific sections of your personal contact card — no need to create and maintain a separate contact card with just your shareable information.
  • It’s universal! Cardhop is a universal app designed for both iPhone and iPad — one purchase gives you two great apps designed for each layout.
  • A playful icon! Cardhop for Mac proudly wears a classic rich app icon that portrays a toasty sandwich with a business card cooked into the bread on a plate — a clever play on the app’s name. Cardhop for iOS has a fresh icon very much inspired by the Mac app icon, but it’s simplistic enough that you may never know what the card colors represent!

And like Cardhop for Mac, the brand new Cardhop for iOS features a powerful natural language input feature for easily creating new contact entries or interacting with existing contacts in your database in a number of ways:

Just type in “John G” and John’s card will instantly appear. Or enter “Sarah Smith” and Cardhop will add a new contact to Sarah’s card. Or type in “call Michael S” and Cardhop will instantly start a phone call with Michael!

Users will quickly interact with their contacts using the following actions: Call, Copy, Directions, Email, FaceTime, FaceTime Audio, Facebook Messenger, Large Type, Message, Skype, Telegram, Twitter, URL, Viber, and VoIP.

Cardhop also integrates with Siri Shortcuts so you can create custom voice commands for doing common tasks, and starting today, both Cardhop for iOS and the Mac support directory lookups:

Cardhop also supports directory lookups on Google Contacts, G Suite, and Exchange Global Address List, making it easy to find contacts on both personal and work accounts. Today, a free update for Cardhop for Mac also was announced providing full directory lookup support.

Like Fantastical for managing quick calendar entries and finding upcoming appointments easily, Cardhop for Mac quickly joined my short list of must-install apps. Personally, I use the app to manage my constantly growing list of professional contacts.

For example, when I correspond with a new PR contact over email, I can easily save the contact from the Mail app, then launch Cardhop and instantly add relevant details about the new entry so I can remember what I need to know about that contact in the future. Which PR person from which firm is associated with what company? Cardhop has made it way easier to put the answers to those questions for me in the right places — and fast.

Now those same benefits are finally available on the iPhone and iPad as a universal app designed for each canvas. Cardhop includes a variety of other small touches that add up to a much more considered contacts app on iOS than the built-in app. It does this without being too technical or difficult to use; very polished and approachable with features that make everyday interactions with contacts actually easy.

If you’re like me, the built-in Contacts app is probably just a cold, ugly database of names and phone numbers and emails buried in a folder and never opened. Cardhop is a contacts app you’ll actually launch — and maybe even put on your Home screen or Dock.

Cardhop for iPhone and iPad runs on iOS 12 or later and launches today for $4.99 on the App Store. Early adopters can own Cardhop for 20% at launch, however, with a special $3.99 price to celebrate the new app.

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Avatar for Zac Hall Zac Hall

Zac covers Apple news for 9to5Mac and hosts the 9to5Mac Happy Hour and 9to5Mac Watch Time podcasts.