Phonecard Express

 Easy Communication with Phone Cards

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  • What & Why?

If you often use phone cards to make calls, you may find it tedious to input the access number, select options, and input a long pin number. Some phone card company also want you to input password, making the calling procedure even harder. This experience could be even worse if your eyes need to focus on something else, like cooking or driving.

Phonecard Express is an Android application that may help you out. It allows you to pre-configure all the information about phone cards. When you need to call with phone cards, it will automatically input the necessary information (access phone number, pin, password, etc) for you.

When developing this tool, we aimed at three major goals:

  • Nonintrusive calling. 

We try to avoid changing the standard calling procedure. To make a call, one just go to the "dialer" application, input a contact name or a destination number, and then press calling button. Phonecard Express will serve you in the background and make this call in an appropriate way (direct call or re-route the call to go through the right phone card).

  • Convenient to use. 

It is boring to pick a phone card every time you need to make a call. Phonecard Express addresses this issue in several ways. 

    1. Smart Call. Users can easily define their calling policies. For example, one can say "if a phone number starts with 011, it is an international call, I want to use xxx phone card." and "if a phone number NOT starts with 0, it is a domestic call, I will call directly.". By pre-defining the calling policies, Phonecard Express will make calls in a right way, without bothering you to pick a card every time.

    2. Shortcuts. If one doesn't want to define a calling policy, Phonecard Express will prompt the user to pick a phone card every time. Meanwhile, it provides two big shortcut buttons, "Favorite Card" and "Direct Call". One button sits at the top, the other at the bottom. So one can easy press the top half of the screen to call with favorite card, and press the bottom half to make direct call. In addition, one can also pick the favorite card by rapidly scrolling the trackball (the one in the middle of HOME and RETURN buttons) left and right, just like double-clicking with a mouse.

    3. Friendly reminder and history-based phonecard auto-selector. If a user forgets to pick a card within certain period of time, Phonecard Express will remind the user with voice and/or vibration. If the user still does not pick a card within certain period of time, Phonecard Express will try to lookup the calling history for the destination. If this number was found in the history, Phonecard Express will use the calling method that was used to call this number last time.

  • Voice and Text report of calling methods. 

When using Phonecard Express, users may think: "what if I press the wrong button, and mistakenly pick "DIRECT CALL" when I make an international call. That can result in a huge bill!". To address this concern, for each call, Phonecard Express reports the calling method (direct call or which card it uses to make the call) in text and voice.