I never liked the stock dialer, contact and messages app in Android. And in the recent update, Google made the Hangouts app ugly too. So, Google is slowly making me(and I am sure others too) hate its own platform. Android already has inconsistency in design and lack of well designed apps and I just hope not to see such substandard design in Android L which Google will probably release in the near future.
But this article isn’t about Android, it is about Bolt, a replacement app for Android’s Phone app which I discovered the last week. After looking at its screenshots, I immediately installed the app just to experience the beautiful interface which we don’t usually see in most Android apps. Bolt’s latest version looks a bit different from what I saw in the screenshots but it still looks beautiful. The sign up process is simple, it uses your phone number to log into your account.
Bolt shows everything on main screen, with recent contacts at the top which takes one-fourth of the screen and all your contacts at the rest of the screen. It shows recently contacted contacts at the top of the screen with the photo as background and contact name with three dots icon next to it. Tapping on the photo will call the contact and tapping on the name will show options for viewing the contact details and changing the primary number. You can horizontally scroll through the Recent Contacts block to see more Contacts.
Below the Recent Contacts block is where it lists all the Contacts organized in list-view. Frequently called contacts are listed at the top while all less-frequent contacts at the bottom. For a contact in the list, it shows the contact photo at the left, contact name and the last contact time in the center and a right-pointing icon at the right to view the contact details. Tapping on the photo or the name dials the contact. In the Action bar, you get a search button to quickly get to the desired contact, a dialer icon to access the dialer and three-dots icon to view other options and access app settings. Tapping on the dialer icon opens up the dialer from the bottom on the same screen such that you can see the contacts list at the top. After typing the number in dialer while calling, you have to tap the part at the top where it shows typed number to make the call, which isn’t ordinary and took me some time to figure out. On the main screen, you can slide towards right to access a menu where it shows your profile details along with your photo.
The best feature that comes with Bolt is that Bolt to Bolt calls are totally free. So if the person you’re calling is also using Bolt, then you can talk without any costs. Of course it uses Data Connection or Wi-fi connection for Bolt to Bolt calls. I haven’t made a Bolt to Bolt call so I can’t comment on the quality yet but the app looks promising.
I can only say that I love Bolt because of its minimalistic design and it already replaced the stock dialer and contacts app for me. Bolt comes with a beautiful UI and allows me to make calls quickly which is pretty much everything I think a good phone app should have. Bolt to Bolt calls are free, which is a plus. Also, developers of the app will be launching the iOS version of Bolt soon. Interested iPhone users can head over to Bolt website to sign up for early access.
Bolt is free on Google Play Store.