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Featured App: Favorites (People) Hub for WP7

There are plenty of Favorite People apps scattered throughout the Marketplace to choose from, and they all do pretty much the same thing. Personally I look for an app that is; simple to setup, simple to use and has a clean, polished appearance. Favorites Hub scores well in all those categories. Running WP7 without a net, meaning no nightly full backup to rely on, I don’t want to spend more than a few minutes setting up any app that I can’t backup.

Favorites Hub has a clean metro interface without any overdone graphics (a certain unnamed staffer referred to my previous Favorites app as being designed for a three year old). Adding/deleting and selecting contacts is quick and easy. The interface is made up of five screens; Telephone, Messaging, Email, Internet & Settings. The Settings screen includes options for adding; any of the 4 entry types, deleting entries, configuration and an about screen. Entries, which include the shortcut name you create, with the associated number/address below, can be sorted alphabetically or you can position them however you prefer. The app opens to the Telephone screen and Settings is a quick flick to the right.

To add a new entry, tap Add (telephone, messaging,email or internet). The Add screen has two text boxes; display name and associated entry which is “hot selectable” from the Peoples hub (except for Internet. where you need to enter a web address), or you can also manually add a number/address if it does not yet exist on your device.  The Telephone Add screen has a shortcut option to add a Messaging entry using the same selected number. There are four buttons at the bottom of the screen; Save / Save+Add (for quick multiple entries) / Reset (to clear contents and start over) / Cancel. Favorites Hub allows you to designate “any” phone number for Messaging (texting) so you can create multiple SMS entries for the same contact. Selecting an entry opens the appropriate interface; phone call, text, email (send from) or IE.

Configuration gives you options to organize entries alphabetically or by preference (you can move entries up but not down), theme management which includes 4 different themes, along with options to rate the app or contact support. When you select “Delete Favorites” from settings, regardless of the theme selected, the background will turn “red” to remind you of the mode you are in. Simply tap an entry and it’s gone. Tap the Back button to close the Delete function. I currently have 24 entries in the four categories and Favorites Hub takes about 1/2 to 1 second longer to open than the Peoples Hub, which is on par, or better than the other Favorites apps I have tried. Not sure, but I would assume there is no limit to the number of entries you can add to the app, for those of you who think “everyone” is a favorite. 

You can find the Favorites Hub in Marketplace here (NOTE: the link will open Zune desktop). It is available for 0.99 or you can download the trial, which as I recall is fully functional.