Callism wants to change the way you make phone calls

In an attempt to reinvent the phone app, Callism offers a more streamlined way to make calls. But is it enough to convince users to switch from the native app?

The App Store has no shortage of Phone applications. From Skype to Viber to WhatsApp, and even Line, there are many ways to make a voice call. But all of these services each promote their own third-party services over the regular calling and messaging functions of the iPhone. What if you wanted to use the calling plan that you already paid for? In comes Callism, an app aiming to make it easier for you to use the long-forgotten primary function of your iPhone -- making a call.

The app is not just offering a new service for making calls, but also touts itself as an alternative to the native phone app. With Callism you can add custom tags to your contacts, making it easy to call commonly-used contacts. Think Google+ Circles for your phone.

(Credit: Screenshot by Tuong Nguyen/CNET)

I easily created separate tags with the app for all of the friends that I regularly talk to, another for family members that I actually like, my gym buddies, and even work colleagues. This is a huge step up from iOS' Favorite option, which essentially creates a fast-dial list without any capability to rearrange or organize. Another big feature gives you the ability to schedule callback reminders in a couple of swipes. Create quick reminders to return a call later in the day or the next. So forgetful people like me won't have to stress out about not remembering to call someone back.

The clean design of Callism fits in well with the new look of iOS 7. I dare say that it even looks better than the native phone app. The T9 keypad not only searches your phonebook by numbers but also names, which presents you with a quicker option for looking up contacts. Callism can also learn from your behavior, so people you talk to most often are brought up directly on top of the contact list for easier access.

(Credit: Callism)

There are some downsides, however, to solely using Callism. The biggest issues I've run across are the lack of a recent contacts list, making returning missed calls a hassle, and no voicemail function. Additionally, you can't access iMessage directly from within Callism like in the native app. This adds an extra hurdle should you decide to send a text instead of making a voice call.

Overall, it is a great app for those who like organized calling and are keen on returning every missed call. Check out Callism below and let us know what you think.

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