Callzapp to the rescue

The Hindu - July 24, 2013

A simple smart phone application lets you specify the priority of your call to its recipient. Download Callzapp and discover how

The meteoric rise of the smart phone, and the myriad features that modern versions offer, have led to a situation where buyers are more likely to see whether their new gadget supports 4G or Near Field Communication (NFC) before wondering what call quality is like. The basics, therefore, are now a mere add-on to a much more powerful tool.

Mention this to Vipin Selvaraj, founder of Vips International, a company that produces animated films, offers consultancy services and develops smartphone apps, and he would be inclined to agree. It is to his end that his company has recently released an Android application called ‘Callzapp’, which primarily enables users to indicate the priority of a call to the receiver (provided they have the same app).

“While a lot of other features have developed, basic telephony is still a much-ignored part of the smartphone. I was toying with the idea of an application that allows you to see how important a call is, to avoid any confusion and repeated calls. That’s what led to the creation of Callzapp,” says Vipin.

Intuitive features

Callzapp serves as a dialer and a messaging service, with users being able to pre-programme messages for each type of call (Casual, Important, Urgent and Emergency) that will be sent if the call is not picked up.

It’s a sort of a reverse engineered version of stock Android’s ‘Reject with Message’ feature.

The call log also sports different icons for each call depending on its priority, and has a status indicator next to each contact, which changes colour depending on the length of time that has passed since the last correspondence with the contact. Vipin has also applied for patents for some of these features.

Vipin also stresses the importance of being able to make quick emergency calls. “Often, in a tense situation where a user needs to call rescue services, the traditional method of searching for a contact and dialling can be cumbersome. So we have included a tab in Callzapp that features large, easily accessible buttons with visual cues that can be mapped to services such as police, ambulance etc. There is also a button in this tab that allows users to programme the number of a personal emergency contact,” he says.

Simplifying calls

The London-based Vipin says that incidents that occurred a few years ago, where a trivial call nearly cost him his drivers license test and he almost- missed an important call while in a meeting, prompted him to come up with the idea. “At that time technology was a limitation, but now that it has caught up. We have finally created this app that will hopefully avoid a lot of confusion for its users,” he explains.

Callzapp released last week and is available for download on the Google Play store for Rs. 135. Vipin says that the reason for not offering it free is that they wanted to avoid the advertisements that plague free versions of most apps. “When you are trying to create an interface that allows users to easily find contacts or emergency numbers, advertisements can be an unnecessary distraction,” he offers.

Vips International is working towards streamlining future versions of the app, with the most important aspect being the ability to append user-location details to text messages sent to emergency services, allowing for faster response periods.