One of my favorite features of the BlackBerry has been the activity log. It provides you a view into what you have done with each of your contacts over time. For example you can see call history, SMS/MMS history, email communication, and other types of communication that register with the activity log, like Google Talk. The iPhone and Android both have lacked this historical communication view available only on the BlackBerry. Granted, the BlackBerry has been designed for business users who desire features like this, but I was excited to see Apple added this functionality into iOS 4.
I have been a huge fan of Favorite contacts on the iPhone since the device first released. When you initially hear about the feature, it is hard to appreciate the true value, until you commit to using it daily. Shortly after you start using Favorites, you begin to see the value of the recent call log because it is like favorites, but much more dynamic.
I had not really noticed that Apple had added a more detailed call log under phone | Recents. If you click on the arrow to the far left right for an individual contact you can see incoming and outgoing calls with date, time, and duration. This was a feature I really missed when I initially started using the iPhone. You would have a missed call, but all you knew was that it was missed. You knew the day the call was missed but not the time. Same for inbound or outbound calls; you never knew the call duration or time. This feature clearly let’s you see missed calls and the date and time it was missed.
The only downside of the detailed call log is that it is on a number by number basis. Unlike the BlackBerry, where this functionality gives visibility at the contact level, Apple has implemented this feature only per phone number. The downside is you have to check each phone number that a contact has, which is not so bad considering the recent call area shows calls based on date and time order of the last calls.
Personally, I think this is a great feature for enterprise users, but it will also benefit consumers. How many times have you heard “Are you sure you called me? I don’t remember and do not have a missed call”. It’s a rather nice feature and without a doubt, it is something I will use.