Convenience. From the Oxford Dictionary widget: The state of being able to proceed with something with little effort or difficulty. I’m all about that, especially while I am working. Anything that helps me focus on my work. Often people call me and want me to look at a web page, or I need to look something up on Google while I’m talking, so I wear a wireless headset. It’s great. However, I still have to have the phone by me to identify the caller or I have to swing around and get out of my chair to look at the base station when it’s ringing. I know, you’re saying “Geez, what a lazy guy.” Maybe, but when I am in the middle of something, I don’t want to be interrupted even for little things like that. So I went in search of a phone app that would notify me of the caller on the computer. And boy, did I find one! It’s called, humbly enough, Jon’s Phone Tool.

If there was ever a Bass-O-Matic in software form, this would be it. It slices, it dices, it juliennes (is that a verb?). You can make calls via Vonage, Skype, CallVantage, Phlink and your modem. Address Book, Entourage, Palm Desktop integration? Yup. Dial from any of these sources, or view caller’s info sorted by Alpha, Companies, Geographical, Groups or Recent with the convenient menubar icon. Has reverse lookup (find contact info from number), convert text to number, call timer. Displays Caller ID info as a popup within a couple of rings (your phone service has to have this feature and your modem has to be compatible with it – most Apple internal modems are). Call logging, time logging, note pad, number pad dial – the only negative thing I could say about it is that it may have too many features. But for such a modest fee of $15, you can have them all! The interface is cool, it reminds me of an MP3 player skin for Audion, but in saying that, not all the icons are easy to understand or see. I love the rotating gear logo! It may be true that you can’t judge a book by its cover, but I believe you can very often judge a program by the effort put into the design of the application’s interface and the website.

Ring, ring! Jon’s Phone Tool is for you.

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