Facebook Home was surely ridiculed for adding a confusing social layer on top of Android and thus forfeiting users to basic functionality of home screen and widgets. However, one thing which was truly appreciated by everyone was Facebook’s implementation for notifying about new incoming messages. Whenever a message came on Facebook messenger, user will see a little bubble pop out on one side of the screen with user’s profile image sourced from Facebook, hence the name chathead. This was unobtrusive way of letting the user know that he/ she has unread message, without diverting their attention from the task they were focusing on their device. What’s more, user can even drag the chathead anywhere on the screen to reply to it later, or else dismiss the message altogether by moving it out of the screen.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the same concept can be applied to calls, as well? More so, since when a call comes the screen switches from any app to the call screen and thus end up distracting us, even if we don’t want to answer the call. As the popular saying goes- “there's an app for that”, an app called Call PopOut brings almost the same functionality to calls.
Once the app is activated, whenever a call comes, instead of the usual call interface, you’ll see a circular popout on the screen along with the caller’s number. If you’ve attached a profile picture with the caller, then that’ll also be shown in the popout. Clicking on the pop out will bring up options to take or reject the call by swiping right and left respectively, other two options are for ignoring the call (neither pick nor reject) or picking the call via Phone app.
The app works flawlessly in most of the cases, whether the phone is on lock screen or usual apps like Messages, Browser, etc. are being used. However, we did notice that sometimes, the device first go the Phone app and quickly switches to the popout. As obvious, in case of listening to music, watching movies or playing games, they are paused till the time call is accepted or rejected.
The app’s main work is behind the scenes, so its interface just provides the ability to customize the settings. The app can work will all the apps, or if one wants the popout to come with certain apps only, then that’s also possible. In this case, when the call comes, user will see the standard call interface. The app also shows the option to silent the call by a simple touch on the popout, and can remain on the screen even after picking the call.
The position of the popout can also be selected to be at Top, Center or Bottom of the screen. Size of the popout can be chosen from Small, Medium and Large size. Finally, the border color of the popout can also be changed.
We would have liked the ability to drag the popout to some other place on the screen, as currently popout remains stationery.
Call PopOut is very light-weight (<500 kb) and can be downloaded on Android devices for Free. It can run on version 2.2 and above, however, its incompatible with few devices.