No matter how advanced a smartphone platform becomes, it still has to perform the basic functions of an ordinary phone. What use is an expensive Windows Phone 7 device if it can’t even make calls properly, or doesn’t let you send MMS? While WP7 can do all this, there’s nothing really special about the basic features of the platform. Point and Call is a Mango app that plans to change that. The app comes up with a completely new and innovative way of making calls quickly, and removes the need of having to enter a number manually! If you are thinking that Point and Call is just another dialer app for WP7, think again. The app doesn’t even have a keypad, neither does it integrate with the People hub. Thanks to Point and Call, you just have to launch the app, point it at the piece of paper or screen where the number is written, and voila, the call will be made in an instant!
To help users get the maximum out of Point and Call, the app starts with its scanning screen so that you can dial any number as quickly as you want. In order to use the app, just launch it and point the device’s camera towards the number. You have to make sure that the number is within the bracket shown on the app’s main screen. Adjust the device properly, and tap the screen to focus on the digits. Alternatively, you can half-press the camera button to make the app focus on the number automatically. Point and Call works better with printed or typed numbers, but even if the handwritten numbers are neat enough, they will be recognized by the app. The app works only in landscape mode, and that facilitates the process of quick digit recognition. The bottom bar on the scanning screen gives a preview of the scanned number, and if the whole string is recognized successfully, four arrows will appear on the screen to indicate that. A notification on the scan screen also reinforces the completion of each scan.
Once a number has been recognized properly, you can choose to call it or save it to the People hub. The save box is available in the top right corner of the screen, while the option to call the number can be accessed by hitting the big call button to the right. Point and Call is pretty customizable as well, and from the app’s own Settings menu, you can change the scanner display method, offset slider show type and there is a whole subsection dedicated to Instructions, too.
Point and Call is an app that has an amazing concept, but the implementation and interface can certainly use a few improvements. In any case, you can give it a try by heading to the Marketplace, where it is available as a free download.