Smartphones are great, aren't they? We can see the news as it's happening, play high-end games, read books and magazines, tweet, share and more. That's all fine and well but, what happens when you're right in the middle of something, and someone calls you? Well, you get interrupted, that's what. How many times have we been in the middle of responding to an important text or email message to be interrupted by a phone call, it's not that we don't want to answer – we'd probably just ring back but, Android takes you out of whatever you were doing and thrusts a phone call upon you. Not with Small Call, which will give you a modest notification of the caller and the usual options. Read on to see if you need to get a control on how Android lets you know you're being called.
Description: Small Call is an application that really does live up to its name. When you get a call, it'll be small, as oppose to the intrusive method that Android uses right now. Essentially, Small Call is a far more discreet approach to notifying you of an incoming call; it won't interrupt what you're doing and only takes up a slither of screen real estate. It's sophisticated, there's no need to be rooted and it lets you get on with whatever it is you're doing. Whether it's conquering Angry Birds for the 300th time, reading the news or dealing with your tweets – Small Call won't get in your way.
This is the part of the review where we'd insert a YouTube video but, it seems the best chance to tell you that Small Call is giving away a Samsung Galaxy S4 and $1000 in cash! All you have to do is make your own YouTube video of Small Call, just e-mail [email protected] for terms and rules.
How it Works: To get started with Small Call, you'll first have to download the app from the Play Store, and then enable it through the toggle at the top of the app.
As you can see, there are a number of settings that you can tweak, there's even support for text messaging – which is a nice touch. You can set a custom text message, which could come in handy for a lot of things. For instance at the office you could use "Can't talk right now, send me an e-mail at <insert address here>" or something like that; very handy. Perhaps the most common option you might want to change is the call bar position:
I like mine at the bottom of the display, to allow me to finish my sentence or pause a video easily. You can have it however you like though. When someone calls you, you get the tiniest bar at the bottom of the display:
To get access to controls, just tap the bar and they will appear for you:
And that's it! It really is as simple, and as subtle as that (numbers do appear as well but, I have blocked my girlfriend's number out). So, if you wanted to, you can just leave the phone ringing until you're ready to call them back, or send them a text. I've used the Guardian as the main example because, I am always called when I get some time to myself – typical! But this works in pretty much anything, thanks to the way that the app has been developed. Small Call also has the option to have incoming calls ringtone reduced to just one second; like you get for an incoming text message. Oh, have I mentioned that they're giving away a Galaxy S4 and $1000 in cash? Look above for details.
Opinion: Despite the amount of time I obviously spend on the Internet, I still like to use my smartphone as an actual phone, and while it might sound a little odd, I don't like to be interrupted when I get a phone call. I've always loved the way Android handles text messages and e-mails: with a ticker at the top of the display, but when you get a phone call, your focus on the current task is completely lost. It's really rather annoying. Small Call however, fixes this, and gives us a subtle way to see who is calling you, and an easy way to deal with that call. Frankly, it's like magic.
- Speed (4/5) – Small Call is easy as pie to set-up and it doesn't slow your phone down when someone rings you, it works really quite well.
- Features (5/5) – Small Call might only have one feature to fulfill but, it does this brilliantly and there are a number of settings to tweak as well.
- Theme (4/5) – Small Call blends in relatively well, it doesn't look something out of the Google labs but, it shouldn't clash with your theme, whether you're using stock Android, TouchWiz, Sense and so on.
- Overall (5/5) – It's not often you come across an app that lives up to its promises, and certainly not as well as this, it's a great utility to have on your Android phone and, you're given the chance to win cash and a new smartphone!
- Very easy to set-up, you don't need to be rooted, and it just works.
- Small Call blends in well with a lot of skins and stock Android.
- Settings allow you to tailor the app to your liking.
- It doesn't matter what app or game you're in, this works pretty much everywhere.
- Could be considered a little pricey – but right now you can win cash and a new smartphone!
- Depending on how many phone calls you get, this might not be a necessity for you.
Conclusion: As I said earlier on in the review, it's very rare that you come across an application that not only does what it promises, but does so as well as Small Call does. This app really does what it says it will, and it's pretty magical. Too many times have we been playing a game, reading an article, watching a video from CNN or responding to a text and BOOM! Out of nowhere comes a phone call, loud through the speakers and taking you out of whatever it was you were doing. Okay, so it might not be as bad as that but, it's not exactly pleasant if you're engrossed in something. With Small Call, you won't miss calls but, you won't miss out on what you're doing. For those that like to keep on top of notifications and absorb their favorite content in peace, this is the best app out there for you. Oh, did I mention they're giving away a Galaxy S4 and $1000 in cash?!