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3: Magnified Phone Numbers

To the left of any phone numbers displayed in the Address Book’s preview pane is a tiny magnifying glass icon. If you click this icon, a window opens, displaying the phone number in a very large font (see Figure 3). I’m sure this is helpful to those suffering from poor vision, but it doesn’t make the user’s obvious goal—calling the contact on the phone—any easier to achieve. Even with the giant phone number staring you in the face, you must still pick up the phone and manually dial the number, possibly making expensive long-distance mistakes as you do so.

Almost every other PIM introduced since 1984 has offered the ability to dial by modem, so why doesn’t Entourage? Picture this instead. Replace the magnifying glass icon with a telephone icon that opens a dialog box when clicked. The dialog box displays the local time where you’re calling (a very useful bit of info when calling outside your time zone), and gives you the option to pick up the telephone’s handset to dial the number by using the computer’s internal analog modem. Such a feature would reduce the physical effort needed to dial the phone and eliminate the possibility of misdialing. The needs of sight-impaired users could still be met by allowing them to set the default font size used in the preview pane.

Figure 3

Figure 3 Jeez, thanks for the magnifying glass, Microsoft. How about actually dialing the phone for me instead?

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