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PEOPLE SEARCH

Frequently asked questions regarding the app People Search


WHY HAVE THIS APP NOT BEEN UPDATED SINCE 2014?
I started a total rewrite of this app in early 2015, and when I was in the middle of this work I saw signs that Windows 10 Mobile would get T9-search in the default dialer and I stopped the development since I assumed my app would have no purpose in the future anyway.

I instead made my app free in the Store, so people who still wanted to use my old app could do so with no cost.

I later see that my app do have some fetures that still might miss in the Windows 10 dialer. Like search in all fields like the notes field.

At the moment I do not plan a new People Search app for Windows 10.
But I do not rule it out either :)

Right now, there is at least a few other apps I want to make first.
And I am a super-slow developer, I can spend over a year on one single app.

WHY DO I HAVE TO BUY THE APP AGAIN ON REINSTALL?
You CAN download any app you have bought in Marketplace, without paying again!

The Store app actually does not check if you have bought an app until you tap the BUY-button!

When you tap BUY, it will check if you have bought it or not.

You are then either asked to confirm the payment (if you never have bought the app before), or it will show "CONFIRM INSTALLATION", and "You have already bought this app. Do you want to install again?".

9 out of 10 emails I get, is about this, so you are not alone being confused by the Shop app :)

WHY THE EXTRA MESSAGEBOX WHEN TRYING TO CALL?
This is due to a limitation in Windows Phone, apps can not dial directly nor open the dialer directly. So when People search call the 'CALL API' in Windows Phone, the phone will show the user a 'do you want to call number XXX?'. This is outside of my control, at least for now.

WHY ARE THE SEARCH RESULTS NOT ORDERED ALPHABETICALLY?
The ordering-logic is fairly complex, and the intention is to always show the most relevant hits at top of the list.
1. you get hits that was in the START OF NAMES
2. you get hits in the START OF OTHER FIELDS THAN NAME
3. you get all the hits inside names or other fields

And each segment is ordered alphabetically by the name of the person you got an hit on. Also, if you get more than one hit on one person, the person is only shown once.

To make it easier to get a hit in phone numbers, spaces, dashes and so forth are ignored.
So if a person has this phone number "(47)-123", you will get a hit by entering "7123".

A lot of complex stuff is going on in other words, but hopefully all this is actually making it easier for you to find the right person :)

BUT I SOMETIMES SEE THE SAME PERSON MORE THAN ONCE IN MY SEARCH RESULTS?
If you ever see the same person or data from the same person more than once in the search results, that is because it all are different persons according to you phone.

Let me explain; one super smart feature of the People hub in Windows Phone, is that it syncs data from many sources (Outlook, Live, Gmail, Facebook++). And you will normally have the same person in all these places. Maybe not all the same info in all places, in Facebook you might have the person with birthdate and a picture, in Outlook you might have the persons phone numbers, and from Live their mail-address.

Windows Phone will automatically try to "link" all these persons as one, but that does not work all the time, since it requires the persons name to be written 100% the same and so forth.

So then when you search in my app, you might get 3 hits, that all are the same person.

Actually People search is very nice for seeing all these unlinked persons, since they become so visible.

SO HOW DO I AVOID HAVING ALL THESE UNLINKED CONTACTS?
You can manually link contact data / people in People hub (not my app, but the built-in People hub). Just open a person, and press the link-menu-button, and then pick the persons/items that is actually the same person.

You might need to reindex People search after doing this, else People search will not see the changes (People search will automatically re-index in the background, but only approx once every 24 hours).

WHY IS NOT ALL NUMBERS AND EMAILS SHOWN IN THE SEARCH LIST?
Most smart-dialers will show one row in the search results for each phone number, email, web-adress so forth the person has. While People search only shows ONE item per person in the search-list. These are two very different design-choices, and both has their advantages and disadvantages.

The first solution you only need to tap once to call any number of the person, but you will probably have to scroll more, since there will be more rows in the search results.

People Search does the exact oposite, here you actually are expected to tap twice, but with no scrolling.
Tap once on the name in search results, we open the person page where the data is presented in a way that it only takes a quick glance to see what you can do against that person, and you tap the second time on the action you want to do.

Testing shows that this approach was extra critical for People search, since People search lets you search in ANY field on the contact, ergo you get a lot more hits. The search results would be so filled up that it took the tester much longer time to find "their person + action" when we tried the normal approach.

WHY DOES NOT PHONE NUMBER XXX SHOW IN THE SEARCH RESULTS?
This is related to the question above, so you might want to read that first.

So, People search shows only ONE item person person, but WHAT item it shows depends on a what you typed, and what is available on the person. It actually is a lot of complex logic going on while you type.

If you get a hit on a field that it is also possible to do an action against, like for example a phone number, you will see the phone number, and a quick-action-button to call it.

If you however get a hit on a non-action-item, like for example the name of the person, you get the first available phone number on that person (if they have a cellphone, you'll get that, then first home phone, or then first work phone).

So back to the question, to get a quick-button in the search results that shows the work-phone, you would need to get a hit on the work phone, ie type some part of that number.

In the future I might add an option so that you can say what phone number type (or other action-enabled item) shall be the default action when you get a search-hit one of the non-actionable-items on a person.

So this is back to the whole design-philosophy of People search;
- first you search
- we minimize the amount of noise in the search results and show each person once
- you tap ONCE on the name
- we show all the person data in a glancable-way (with icons, font and size, space/air, and also accent-color)
- then you tap a SECOND time on the action you want to do

If that is not something you like, you are certainly not out of luck, since just about every other dialing app in Marketplace does the oposite.
Maybe one of those suits you better? After all, people ARE different, and I am the first to admit that there isn't a single, perfect way to approach this, it all depends on how you use your phone, what you like, if you have linked all your contacts correctly, and more.

WHY ISN'T THERE A "CALL THE NUMBER I HAVE PUT INTO THE CLIBOARD"-FEATURE?
That is another one of those, because Microsoft won't let us :)

An app can PUT things INTO the clipboard, but they can not in any way READ or take out data from the clipboard. If/when this becomes possible, I will add it.

COMPANY PHONE NUMBER ARE NOT SHOWN IN YOUR APP, WHY?
This seems to be due to an bug in Microsofts Contact-API, since there are other developers also complaining about this issue. I do not know when Microsoft plan to fix this.

WHY IS IT NOT POSSIBLE TO EDIT A CONTACT IN YOUR APP?
At the moment Microsoft has not made it possible for 3. party developers to edit contact data, so this is not possible unfortunately.

Developers can only open a "add new phone number"-dialogue, but that dialogue-API does not accept a contact. So if I call that dialogue, the user will have to not only enter the phone number to add, but also have to manualy find the contact in People hub (even if the user has already searched up the person in my app). The user will also only be able to add a phone number with that feature, not an email, address so forth, and not able to edit/delete existing phone numbers.

In version 1.3 of the app I am using that API, and have added a "save number"-functionality (in the context-menu that is shown when you tap the typed number).

CAN YOU ADD SKYPE AS AN CALL OPTION IN THE APP?
It is currently not possible for apps to start Skype from code. If or when this is possible in Windows Phone, I will add it to the app.