handyPhone-header

Although it’s been around for a while, handyPhone is an incredibly useful tweak that seems to have gone largely unnoticed by the jailbreak community, despite its beneficial functionality. Admittedly, the description and screenshots of this tweak in Cydia are somewhat cryptic, and anyone not already familiar with the concept behind handyPhone might pass it by without a second thought. However, this tweak is truly a gem, bringing some great new features to the Phone app…

handyPhone has several elements to explore, but my personal favorite is its usage of the T9 keypad. T9 stands for “text on 9 keys,” which is the placement of three or four letters on numerical keys for typing without a Qwerty keyboard. If you’ve ever sent a text message or entered a contact’s name on a flip phone, you were using the T9 keypad.

iOS has this built into its Phone app, and you may have used it for dialing phone numbers synonymous with words related to a company – for example, 1-800-MY-APPLE. However, handyPhone takes its functionality to the next level by allowing jailbreakers to quickly locate a contact by typing someone’s name with the T9 keypad, or their number with the numerical keypad.

To demonstrate this concept, let’s say I’m dialing my contact, Sebastien, whose number is (555) 123-4567. If I have his number memorized, I can begin typing “5551” in the Phone app, and his name will appear as soon as it is the closest match. That is, if someone else in my contacts has a 555 area code, handyPhone may bring them up first, so I can continue typing Sebastien’s number until his full number is auto-filled by the tweak.

handyPhone-number

If I’m unsure of Sebastien’s number but don’t want to search through hundreds of contacts to find him, I can begin typing “732,” which is synonymous to “Seb.” If that doesn’t bring his number up, I can simply continue spelling out his name on the T9 keypad until he is the only match. If multiple contacts have similar names, or if a single contact has multiple phone numbers, handyPhone lets you easily swipe through all matching numbers and call the right one.

handyPhone-name

Another subtle feature is that the tweak will not only search from the beginning of a number, but from the middle as well, meaning you don’t have to type an area code and get the results of everyone from a section of a state, as you can also begin within the latter seven digits of their number. Clearly, handyPhone is an incredibly effective way of speedily finding one contact out of many.

The tweak also relocates a button to the bottom of the dialer that allows for quickly adding the dialed number to a contact or making a new contact altogether, which can save you the time of having to pull up a contact sheet when you want to quickly get someone’s number in your phone. To be clear, stock iOS already has this option; the tweak simply relocates it, along with the backspace button.

Something to note is that handyPhone’s “predictive search” functionality can be disabled from within the Phone app at anytime, which temporarily returns dialing to its normal state.

handyPhone’s Settings panel adds a few additional features, including the options to vibrate when a call is answered, add a Decline button on the lock screen for FaceTime calls, and to add an Ignore button on the lock screen for phone calls. There’s also a toggle for something called “Quick Swipe,” which enables left and right swipes on entries in the Contacts view for quickly calling or messaging someone. Additional toggles include options for Chinese users, including Area Info and PinYin type on the T9 keypad.

handyPhone-settings-quick-swipe

Available on all versions of iOS 7, handyPhone is only compatible with iPhone 5 or newer. The tweak is disabled by default when it’s first installed, so users must enable it from its panel in Settings.

As far as practicality is concerned, handyPhone is one of the best – if not the best – tweaks for the Phone app. Whether you want to quickly tap out a name or number on the keypad or scroll through your contacts and swipe to initiate a call or text, handyPhone makes it possible.

The best part is that handyPhone is completely free, so you owe it to yourself to grab it from Cydia’s BigBoss repo.

  • Abdl

    Awesome tweak!

    Though I’m abit disappointed by Apple on seeing a mail that they sent to me.
    In the shot below its showing an iPhone with a morphie juice pack,which means Apple has shamelessly admitted that their phones have a terrible battery life that it has to be geared up with a power pack,yet the improvement(if any,in the rumoured iPhone 6 is still not sufficient)!!

  • Osama Muhammed

    i was surprised by “free”, fine-designed tweaks nowadays come for 10$..
    respect for the developer 🙂

  • Skem

    Worthless. Haven’t seen the phone app in years. Use callbar for everything.

    • Damian

      agreed

    • Dan

      worthless for you

    • devpro404

      callbar sux! ios is crashing bcs of that

  • Martynet

    When I bought my first iPhone (3GS), one of the first app I bought was “Callway: super fast T9 dialer (not updated for years now, unfortunately). Because I just couldn’t believe that iPhone doesn’t have that function. And still doesn’t 🙁
    It just should be part of the phone app.

  • Adam

    Just out of curiosity there is another tweak on BigBoss called handyDialer by the same dev that seems to offer the exact same functionality as handyPhone but the former costs $3.99 any differences?

  • Varun Soi

    Should i update my jailbroken iphone 5s 7.0.4 to 7.1.2.? i hope i don’t face any issues.!

    • Jeremy

      I say do it. It’s worth it because you get a more stable version of iOS 7. Just make sure you update through iTunes and do not restore and after you jailbreak you should have your installed sources there but not your tweaks unless you know how to backup your tweaks.

      • Varun Soi

        Thanks dude i will update and jailbreak now..i don’t have any problem about tweaks to backup!

      • Gustavo Adolfo Mirabal

        Gridlock and activator are not supported yet. Dont update

  • Adam

    I forgot how useful t9 dialing is this is pretty awesome

  • coLin

    Quick swipe doesn’t work for all contacts….anybody?
    I also use Copic and probably it interferes

  • alexk

    I just want a tweak that gives me back that full photo of the caller! can somebody make that ?

  • Damian

    speaking about best phone tweaks? It is definitely callbar

  • sriram varadarajulu

    Developer!!! y u no support iphone 4 and 4s??

  • Brian Brown

    Damn it. I could totally use this but I have a iPhone 4 :/

  • kikikakuku

    Kuaidial rip off. Kuaidial is free, more feature.

  • DEEPANGEORGE

    Doesn’t spotlight search have mostly all the contact search built in? And spotlight is quick to use than opening phone app and selecting the right keyboard tab to access this funtionality kinda tedious than quick spotlight….

  • Dan

    awesome tweak, never understood why this feature was not stock

  • warnec

    This is one of the most useful tweaks I’ve seen in some time! Wanted to be able to use T9 dialing by name like in Android for 1,5 years now (ever since I got an iPhone)

  • Starfall88

    installed. very handy

  • coLin

    Did you hit the Respring button after you enabled it?

  • Fab

    Good app, but would be good if it recognised the family names as well…