13 FEB

ReadAndCall Makes Dialing on the Go Easy

by Marianne Schultz
 

When it comes to phone numbers in an email or on a web page, dialing that number is incredibly easy on the iPhone since iOS usually recognizes phone numbers and makes them actionable via simple tap. However, I admit that there are days when I wish saving and dialing numbers I see when I’m out and about was just as easy. Not that pausing to open the Phone app, manually entering the phone number and hitting the Call button is hard but if an app like Word Lens can translate text on the fly using the iPhone’s camera, why can’t I save and dial numbers in a similar fashion? Developer iRead Solutions apparently thought the same thing and created ReadAndCall for just this purpose.

ReadAndCall uses the iPhone’s camera to recognize and make phone numbers in the real world around you actionable. It quickly scans phone numbers you see on posters, billboards, business cards, computer screens or anywhere else and lets you dial them right away or save them to a Call List, where you can store numbers quickly for later reference. You can also use scanned numbers to create a new contact or add to an existing contact, or to address a new text message.

Here’s a demo video from iRead Solutions that shows how ReadAndCall works:



 
If you want to do more with a number later, the Call List function lets you save a snapshot of the item from which you just extracted a phone number. This is a handy feature if you want a picture to give you a little more context for later reference when you go to use that number.

There are plenty of business card scanners available in the App Store but ReadAndCall is a little more robust when it comes to strictly recognizing phone numbers and offering the ability to do something with them right away. Often, all I want to do is capture a number I see on a poster or advertisement and save it for later without creating a full contact entry and ReadAndCall fits the bill for that perfectly. My one gripe is that it only works in landscape orientation – I’d love to have an option to use it in portrait orientation since this is how I hold my iPhone most often.

At this time, ReadAndCall only recognizes 7- and 10-digit numbers in the North American phone number format, so you’re out of luck at the moment if you live elsewhere.

ReadAndCall debuted in the App Store in September and just received a major update earlier this month that improved its phone number detection. It requires iOS 4.0 or higher on an iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4 or iPhone 4S.

[applink url=”http://appshopper.com/utilities/readandcall”]

4 Comments

  1. Ughhh hello

    Why would I not just open the photo with the number and hold the home button and Siri will partially open and wait on my command and I can say “Siri call XXX-XXX-XXX” and wait for the phone to ring ? This is a stupid app why is there a review for it?

  2. ItWorksForMe

    I like the simplicity of this app. Talking to your phone could call the number, but you could also dial it. I like the fact that this app detects the numbers quickly and provides you the means to call that number immediately and/or take a ‘reminder’ image so you can call it later. Maybe this app doesn’t work for you but it works for me.

  3. Neo

    Who the hell is Siri? we all don’t have a Siri in our phones btw and this app is actually pretty practical coz it gives you different options and at the same time it’s pretty simple and requires the least effort. It can be pretty handy and either way apps are there to simplify life and give other options to common day problems and that’s exactly what it’s doing.

  4. Mark

    Just saw the 2.0 update that supports international numbers which brought me to this review. Gave it a shot and I think it works well. I’ve tried other business card readers and although this app only reads numbers, it does an exceptional job at doing that. The call list is a very handy feature.

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