Review: Mingle for iOS

Full disclosure, Samir Ghobril contacted me before releasing Mingle and asked if I would like a free promo code so I could try out and review the app. I accepted, and what follows are my 1st impressions after using the app for a while.

Mingle is a contacts app for iPhone and iPod Touch (must be run in 2X mode for iPad). Mingle connects with the existing Contacts app (the stock Apple app that comes with your device) and with your permission links the contacts you already have with the Mingle application (it doesn't upload anything to Mingle, everything is done within the app on your device). Why use Mingle? Mingle brings something rather interesting to the table, gesture based actions. You choose 4 different actions you can assign to all of your contacts and then when you press the contact picture and drag it from left to right the left most icon changes to one of the 4 actions you selected to use with the app. This lets you very quickly call, message, email, tweet, etc... with just a quick gesture. Available actions to choose from are:

  • Call
  • FaceTime
  • Text Message
  • Email
  • Tweet
  • WhatsApp message
  • Open Twitter Contact Profile (Twitter, Tweetbot & Twitterrific)
  • Open Instagram Profile Page
  • Open Vimeo Profile Page
  • Open SoundCloud Profile Page
  • Skype Call
  • Skype Chat
  • Open contact's website
  • Create a Fantastical 2 event with Contact
  • Create an iOS Reminder with Contact
  • Create a DayOne Entry with Contact

And last but not least you can create custom URL based actions.

I really like the potential this app has for people that are constantly in and out of the Contact app within iOS and want a more powerful way to perform actions associated with their contacts. I did, however, have a few issues with the app. It took me quite a while to figure out how to use the app. The screenshots on the App Store don't show the left to right drag of the contact icon as the gesture required to perform an action. I kept trying different gestures and all that I could make happen was the full page drag from right to left that opens up the app settings. I eventually figured out how to perform an action on each contact but it shouldn't have been that hard. Having a screenshot showing how this gesture works or having a small tutorial would eliminate this confusion. I also wish there was a way to have groups of contact. Mingle just simply lists all of your current iOS contacts in one big list. For me, I tend to interact with a very small subset of my contacts on a daily basis so having to type in the search field to narrow down from the hundreds of contacts I have to the one I want is a bit too cumbersome for me (granted the iOS Contacts app works the same way, but I don't like that either).

That being said, Mingle has a clean and minimalist design to it which I really like and has a ton of potential. Samir Ghobril has a very interesting concept going with this app and if he continues to update and improve on it I think a lot of people will find this superior to the stock iOS Contacts app.

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