Yesterday, Comcast unveiled their new iPhone and iPod touch application, though the app was in the App Store Wednesday night. Comcast wanted a way for users to bring their services (digital voice, internet services, and TV) into the mobile space. The result: an amazing iPhone app.
I hate to gush about any app, but I love it. As a Comcast user (who is not getting anything free from Comcast, other than this app, which is free to all), I was shocked and dismayed that just earlier this year, the web client to access my voice mail forced me to listen to the mail before deleting them. No mass delete check boxes either. Since then, Comcast rolled out comcast.net and now the iPhone app and has removed any doubts I had about Comcasts commitment to getting mobile right.
The app is extremely clean and sleek. I honestly don’t think Apple could have done a better job designing this one. Comcast turned to mPortal for the heavy lifting in coding the app and they’ve done an outstanding job. Let’s take a look at the features of this instantly-essential (to me at least) application.
This is the killer app of the, well, app. See that button in the lower right-hand corner? That one allows you to forward your number as you please. Awesome. Now, I can forward and unforward my number about as easy as playing a rousing game of Lexic.
Simply hit the Call Forwarding button, choose where you want to forward your number to and push the slider to turn it on. Users can even label phone lines, like “work” so they can be recalled easier and faster.
In a very Android-like way, all your calls are shown in the “All” category. Users ccan click on Outgoing, Missed or VM tabs to access just those calls. If you feel that is too much info to look at, simply hit clear and you have an empty page. Very soothing.
Access to call logs, both incoming and outgoing is there as is easy deletion of voicemails. Everything you need, all within reach seems to be the design mantra here and it works.
SmartZone Address Book
Last year, Comcast bought Plaxo, the social networking site that sought to keep everyone’s contact information in one place. Comcast integrates this great idea in their iPhone app. By bringing your Plaxo address book into your iPhone you get contacts sync’d much like the Palm Pre does. When one of your contact changes say a phone number, that change is pushed to Plaxo and thus into your Comcast SmartZone address book which can be sync’d with your iPhone address book.
Comcast bills this as a universal address book – the last one you’ll ever need. The iPhone app also uses your on-iPhone contacts as well. Handy.
If you are like me and keep your iPhone by your side while watching TV, there is a nifty guide that localizes based on your location to tell you what is on. Not ground breaking but nice to have.
Most Comcast users are going to love this. This feature combines your Comcast line phone data along with your Comcast email. All in one place, organized by time and searchable. Even your email folders are accessible through this app.
Another nice to have feature, find out what is new from Comcast’s On Demand. The app will display movie trailers broken down into categories or you can search for a specific title.
Good settings to me, are the tell tale mark of a well thought out application. This app has just about every setting adjustment you could want. Users can change the home screen from a list to Cover Flow to a grid, alerts can be customized as can several other settings. It is a nice touch.
Rarely am I this impressed with an iPhone app. About the only flaw I can see is the lack of push notifications, but that is a minor (and fixable in later versions) flaw. The Comcast application is simple, easy to use and very detailed; exactly the type of application that makes the iPhone shine.
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