Sometimes it’s easy to forget that your MP3-playing, book reading, web browsing, game playing Android device is still a cell phone that was originally designed to make phone calls and communicate with others. Your smartphone manages tons of contacts from your email accounts and social networks, and if you have a ton of contacts, you might want to sort different contacts into different groups. In this guide, we’re going to go over some of the top address book replacement apps for when your built-in contacts app or dialer just doesn’t cut it. Jump past the break to get started.
ExDialer & Contacts is one of the more basic address book managers on this list, but it offers a lot of functionality that many built-in address books lack. Smart T9 dialing, theme and customization support, and support for over 30 different languages are things that are becoming more common in smartphones, (just look how long it took for Google to add T9 dialing to Android’s stock dialer) plus it retains a ton of management and organization support for handling your contacts. ExDialer borrows a few excellent features from other popular dialers, like swiping left to text a contact and swiping right to automatically call the contact.
It also features a pretty robust theme system, which gives it some extra points for users that strive to theme every aspect of their phone. The default theme looks fantastic and could easily pass for a stock Google dialer. The contacts menu follows Android’s design guidelines extremely well, and the flat white aesthetic to everything makes for a very clean app. There are two other preloaded themes in the app, including a classic theme that resembles an MIUI or iOS theme, and a crystal theme that makes everything completely transparent. You can set up these themes to apply at different times of the day, so you’ll get a bright white theme during the day and a more muted dark theme at night, which is a very nice touch.
Another very useful feature for power users is integrated VoIP calling. If you like to use the internet to make your calls instead of a carrier’s voice plan, you can use ExDialer to manage your calls through several different providers, including Skype, Viber, Fring, and several others. On top of that, you’ll still get over 30 different languages to use.
If you’re looking for a lightweight but customizable dialer and address book, ExDialer should be your first stop. It offers a free 7 day trial, and then prompts for a $4 purchase to continue using it.
Contacts+ is a very robust, well-designed address book. What makes Contacts+ stand out is that it integrates many of your social networks and messaging apps into one place, pulling metadata, information, and contact photos into an easy-to-use interface.
When setting up Contacts+ for the first time, you’ll be prompted to set up a few social networks. Contacts+ can pull contact photos and information from Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Foursquare, which should more than cover most users’ social circles. Once Contacts+ has linked your contact with their social profile, you’ll be able to browse that contact’s social activity, including checking out their Facebook wall and photos, replying to and favoriting their tweets, and more. Contacts+ really goes beyond just managing your address book and lets you keep all of your communications in one place.
Speaking of managing and organizing your address book, Contacts+ employs a fantastic way or sorting contacts and groups. Your contacts list is sorted alphabetically by default, but with a twist; the top 10 contacts or so that you frequently talk to will be listed above everyone else. This makes it very quick to find and text your friends, family, and whoever else you talk to most often. You can adjust this feature and completely turn it off if you’d like, but more often than not it’s very helpful to have your favorite contacts listed above everyone else. You’ll still get the typical contact sorting within the app, including groups, favorites, and only displaying contacts with phone numbers, etc.
On top of the social media features and organization features, Contacts+ also features a built-in text messaging application and dialer. The dialer is just as functional as you’d expect it to be, with smart T9 dialing, favorites, speed dial, and more. Opposite the dialer is a fully-functional text message app, complete with emoji support, group messaging, and text message pop-ups.
Contacts+ is a completely free app with several additional plug-ins from the developer, including shortcuts to the messenger and dialer apps, as well as tools for emojis and merging contacts. If you’re in the market for something extremely powerful with a laundry list of features, give this one a try.
GO Contacts Pro is from the developers of GO Launcher Ex, so you can expect tons of features and customization options. You’ll get all of the traditional features of third-party dialers and address books, including in-depth contact sorting, T9 dialing, and a ton of theme support. Plus, like Contacts+, it can also double as an SMS application.
Like with any other GO app, you can configure just about every detail about your address book. You can change speed dial settings, adjust when vibrations occur (when you hang up and answer a call, when you touch a dialing key) adjust what contacts you view from all of the accounts on your phone, and adjust individual ringtones for different contacts. On top of these tweaks, there are tons of themes available for GO Contacts Pro. There are three default themes on the app, but thanks to the open nature of the app, you can download several off the Play Store to find one that really fits your style.
GO Contacts can also handle your text messages alongside your dialer and address book. The messaging app doesn’t have too many extra features (that’s what their GO SMS app is for) but if you like the lightweight approach, you can still have custom notification sounds, and the theme changes with the rest of GO Contacts.
On the social media side of things, GO Contacts will pull data and photos from your Google account and Facebook account, if you authorize it. It doesn’t have all of the in-depth social media browsing features like Contacts+, but if you’re looking for something that’s less cluttered, it fits the bill.
If you use other GO apps, this app is going to be a natural fit into what you’re used to. The interface functions just like their other apps, and the themes are consistent across apps. It’s free, too, so even if you only need this app, it’s worth looking into.
Contakts takes a different approach to managing your address book. Instead of loading up with tons of features and management algorithms, Contakts focuses on your favorite contacts, pulls as much information as it can about them, and displays that information in one of the most well-designed address book apps you’ll find on the Play Store.
Contakts takes information from Facebook, Google, and WhatsApp and congregates it with your other contacts to show you everything you could possibly need to know about them. Phone numbers, email addresses, even location data. From the contact, a single tap will call the contact, start a text message with them, or open up your WhatsApp history with them. Contakts doesn’t have a built-in messenger or SMS app, so it can focus on displaying the information in the best way possible instead of worrying about how you’ll communicate with them.
Contakts also has a pretty unique feature that displays which contacts you talk to the most, similar to Contacts+, but it also offers a graph that breaks down just how much you talk to each particular contact. It doesn’t really do anything tangible, but it’s interesting to see just how much more you talk to some people over others. Plus, this frequently contacted list gives you easy access to texting or calling the people you often communicate with.
Contakts isn’t feature-loaded, but it’s one of the most well-designed apps in this list. It also has a robust theme system that lets you select whichever color you’d like the app to adhere to. The design of the entire app looks fantastic, and if you happen to have a device running KitKat, you’ll get the matching notification bar theme and semi-transparent nav-bar, if your device has software buttons. It’s pretty rare to see an app that supports the latest and greatest from Google, so if you’ve got a KitKat device, definitely check this one out. The app is free, with an in-app purchase option to remove ads.
PixelPhone is a well-designed replacement dialer and address book that takes some design cues from GO Contacts Pro. The app features tons of different tweaks and customization options, plus a handful of built-in themes and several extra themes available for download on the Play Store.
The dialer side of PixelPhone works extremely well. It’s smooth, quick, and well animated, complete with smart T9 dialing that also extends to your call logs in addition to your contact list, and an adjustable keypad size and gestures for filtering your contacts list when searching. If you have a ton of contacts that you frequently sort through, these additional sorting options can make things go much smoother. Managing contacts is also very easy in PixelPhone, as it offers some unique grouping options for your favorite contacts and other groups.
A major selling point in PixelPhone is its customization. There are a few different color themes available right when you download the app, including plain flat black and white themes and other more HTC Sense-esque themes. If none of them fit what you’re looking for, you can jump on the Play Store to find something else that matches what you need.
If GO Contacts Pro just didn’t quite suit your taste, but you still want an address book that offers a lot of flexibility and customization, PixelPhone should be next on your list. It works well and offers a lot of value for its free price tag.