Friday 5: How Cardhop makes managing contacts fun [Video]

Cardhop is a utility that’s squarely focused on managing and interacting with contacts on your Mac. Developed by Flexibits, the team behind Fantastical for Mac and iOS, it features a familiar design and interactive natural language elements. In this week’s episode of Friday 5, I explore how Cardhop does the impossible and actually manages to make contact management fun. Watch our hands-on video for the details.

Cardhop features a mini window that can be displayed via a detachable menu bar utility interface. A simple keyboard shortcut brings Cardhop to view, with recent contacts being prominently displayed, and the rest only a search or a click away. Cardhop’s keyboard shortcut, which defaults to ⌃⌥D, can be customized directly within the app’s preferences.

Once the Cardhop mini window is displayed, users can take advantage of its natural language input to issue commands. The text input field on the Cardhop interface almost works like a mini command line terminal that’s strictly dedicated to contact management. Using nothing but text commands, users can easily do things like:

  • Search for contacts
  • Create new contacts
  • Append data to existing contacts
  • Email a contact
  • Call a contact
  • Tweet a contact
  • Get directions to a specific contact
  • Add contacts to groups

And that’s just a taste of what the app is capable of. For more details on the commands that can be used, type a ‘?’ in the text input field to access Cardhop’s help section.

You can highlight contact information within any app, and use the Cardhop service to intelligently parse the data and create a new contact based on the highlighted information. This can be a huge timesaver for creating contacts based on information that you find on the web, within emails, etc.

Users can customize the default fields that appear when creating new contacts via the app’s preferences. This allows you to add fields that are useful to you and remove fields that you don’t need.

Quick actions, as the name hints at, allow you to quickly perform tasks like emailing a contact, calling a contact via a specific service, and more. Quick action buttons appear on the recent and main contact lists and within individual contact cards. Users can customize the default quick actions that appear for all new contacts, and also adjust these actions on a contact-by-contact basis.

The very name ‘Flexibits’ hints at the type of flexibility and empowerment that you should expect from the developer’s apps, and Cardhop is no exception. The name of the game with Cardhop is user adaptability and customization via natural language processing.

Contact management is never something I thought I’d be able to describe as being “fun” but Cardhop is as close as you’ll come to a fun experience when managing your contacts on Mac.

What are your thoughts on Cardhop? You can take it for a test drive with a free trial, but it’s also available on the Mac App Store for $19.99.

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