Thursday, 17 March 2016

Windows 10 System Apps Review: Phone

Note: This page is a review which forms part of the post Windows 10 System Apps Review

What’s this app for?

This is the app for making or receiving calls from your contacts or anyone via either your phone or skype. Note that there’s an obvious issue with this app if you’re on your PC J

Does it do the job it was primarily designed for?

Goodness knows. I’m on a PC and I’ve not got any mobile dongle stuck in any USB port, so that’s all out of the window. In fact, the app seems to be missing some features because of this obvious lacking ability of the average PC to be a phone because all I see is the following (minus the black marks I’ve put in to protect the innocent).

The app just shows ‘History’ and ‘Speed Dial’. With no phone features as yet inbuilt into the majority of PCs, this is our lot for the humble desktop Windows 10 user. On the plus side, it’s not a complete waste of space this app, because you can right-click a user in the history list and initiate a skype call. Well, I say call. The default and only option is a video call. I’d have liked to have had the option for a plain voice call but hey ho … no. If you click on any user in the history or speed dial list it’ll immediately bring up the skype video app and start calling. There’s no “Are you sure?” etc. Aside from this excitement, you can right-click a contact in the list and delete the history information, start a video call, or slightly more interesting, just view the call history with that contact.

Basically, any skype call you’ve initiated from your computer via the skype video app or skype for desktop app should appear in this app in the history. However, no sane PC user is going to ever call up this app to view that information for many obvious reasons, not least that there’s no reason to do so when you can either use the skype video app directly, or more logically use the skype for desktop software.

Settings wise there are no settings. Hmm. There are other facilities to search your call history or bring up the “Phone Book” (which is a modified list of contacts from the People App who have phone numbers) but that’s your lot.

What’s the alternative?

Well, if one was going to make a phone call I’d use my phone, not this app, because … well, I shouldn’t need to explain that for the umpteenth time J For skype video calls though, one is better off using the skype video app or just skype for desktop.

Hit, Miss, or Maybe?

Miss; this app is absolutely pointless for the majority of desktop based Windows 10 users. It has nothing compelling, even from a skype video perspective, for anyone to even bother to load up this app to make a skype call. All it really does is add an extra unnecessary step to the process.

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