To me, applications like this one are really important for school students. I bought my first significant Android the same year I began my Physics degree at my university, and immediately I realised how tremendously helpful it was. From accurate graphing applications to TI emulators (don't judge me, the real thing costs crazy amounts here!), passing through giants like Wolfram and MATLAB Mobile, there were a lot of tools for one to excel with. In fact, I'd say that without Android I wouldn't have chosen...
Dial Applications using T9
Remember back when we would have to send text messages via T9? You know, before the age of the modern smartphone? I know, I know. Many of you reading this are under the age of 20, and thus don’t really have a clear memory of the ’90s. Heck, I’m sure some of you were born in the ’00s, but go with me for a second.
One would think that banging out even short SMS messages with a standard numeric keypad would be a chore. And in a way, that’s certainly true when compared to full QWERTY keyboards and today’s amazing predictive text soft-keyboards. However, the single innovation that made this manageable at the time was the T9 predictive text algorithm. Since then, T9 has largely been forgotten, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t still plenty of uses for this relic from the past. And one such example is Dial an App by XDA Forum Member luciferabby.
As its name implies, Dial an App allows users to “dial” applications like they’re placing a call on a standard telephone keypad. In other words, you’re presented with a grid of nine letter blocks, which you use to spell out the application name. The more letters you enter, the more the choices are narrowed down. Essentially, you can think of it like Launchy for your Android device.
So does it work? It’s actually quite efficient. Rather than scrolling through several home screens or your cluttered app drawer, you can get to the application you want in seconds. And about the only thing holding it back from being “perfect” is the lack of a traditional phone dialer. Now, imagine how great this app would be if you could not only dial applications, but also make calls from within the same interface? There’d never be a reason to use any other dialer. Luckily, the developer let me know that this is in the cards for a future update.
If you wish to give Dial an Application a try or have suggestions for the developer, head over to the application thread.
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