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Cardhop 2.0: Relate to your Contacts

Cardhop has been my preferred contacts app since it came out. There’s nothing wrong with the native contacts app on iOS or macOS per se, it’s just not that great. Adding and updating contacts requires lots of clicks or taps, and it never felt like a good place to start trying to contact someone. This is something I often need to do because if I don’t have an email address for someone there’s no point trying to write them an email, and if the place is closed there’s no point trying to call them!

Today Cardhop 2.0 is out, and while it looks a bit different. At first glance, not a lot has changed (which is actually good because it means I don’t need to significantly change my workflows). But under the hood, there are some impressive changes that make the app even much more useful, whilst still keeping it simple and easy to use.

Cardhop is simple – you just open it and start typing in the magic bar. You can scroll through your contacts, but the open and type approach is what drew me to the app in the first place. It’s how I use Drafts, and how I’d prefer most of my applications to work. The “magic bar” as I call it, is not just for finding contacts, but also for creating them, updating, and interacting with them. This has become even more powerful with version 2 because it also works with Fantastical when you use the Invite keyword.

The one feature I really love though is the relationships. The built-in Contacts app has the ability to let me specify relationships like “this person is my mother,” but this is just shown in text on my contact card. Cardhop 2.0 has a relationship view, this works with details you add yourself such as family information, but also integrates with Office or Exchangeโ€”so you can see an organizational hierarchy. I really love now that I can document relationships between people and not have to put a person in my contacts just to know that Anna is Shawn’s wife. If I want to then I can easily tap on the person in the relationship view to create their contact card โ€” which I often do as soon as I know their birthday!

Relationships also play into the new invite feature. While you can invite a person, you can also invite a group and if you’ve got a business account set up on your device then this will let you look for people based on the hierarchy and grouping there as well. This means you can invite a group of people incredibly quickly – so from now on I’ll be starting all my invites like this.

Cardhop 2.0 is preparing for the world to return to normal too, with a brand new feature: business card scanning. So you can scan someone’s business card with the camera on your iPhone or iPad and it will attach that picture to their contact information. This picture doesn’t become their picture but is an attachment, and you can have multiple photos attached to any contact. This doesn’t replace the photos feature of identifying people, but is useful for screenshots and things like a scan of the business card!

Speaking of business cards, since the beginning Cardhop has had a feature that allows you to create and share your own business card, including and excluding specific information. In fact, it just shows 3 pieces of information, and this is easily available when you turn your iPhone to landscape mode. You can even have multiple business cards set up, and you just swipe between them. They also display a QR code which includes more information. Now someone could use Cardhop to scan this business card, but using the QR code will get all the information displayed into their contacts, as well as any other data you may want to share (which might not be shown on the front of the card because of space limitations).

Widgets of course are new to iOS 14 and macOS Big Sur, and Cardhop 2.0 is taking advantage of them. You can assign an action to each contact even, so I never need to worry about “which messaging app do I use with this contact?” I just tap the contact and it runs my preferred action, which can even be viewing their contact card. You can create multiple widgets of each size, and even give them names. They also sync between your devices, so I can update the widget I prefer to use on my iPhone from my Mac, and show it there if I want to.

Cardhop 2.0 is now free, which is great for people who want to try it out. Even better if you already subscribe to Fantastical, as you now have Flexibits premium (formerly Fantastical premium) which includes Cardhop with all the new features. If you don’t want to subscribe, then the core features of the app are available for free.