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by Jason Snell & Dan Moren

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By Jason Snell

Cardhop: It’s like Fantastical for your contacts

Entirely new Mac apps don’t arrive that often. But today marks the arrival of Cardhop from Flexibits, the maker of Fantastical. Cardhop is the answer to the question, “What if there was a Fantastical for managing contacts?” Cardhop is now available direct from Flexibits or in the Mac App Store for an introductory price of $15, and will regularly sell for $20.

I love Fantastical on my Mac and iPhone, and have come to use its hotkey-driven drop-down interface as my primary way to view and update my personal calendars. Cardhop uses the same idea: There’s a drop-down menu, activated by a customizable keyboard shortcut, into which you can type information to find a contact, add a contact, or kick off an action (send an email, send a tweet). By default the drop-down interface shows you recent contacts and upcoming birthdays, rather than the top of a long alphabetized list.

This is an app that’s probably overkill for most casual Mac users, but it’s tailor made for anyone who wants quick access to data in their Mac address book. (I often use LaunchBar for this, but the advantage of CardHop is that its interface is focused on actions you can do with contact entries, as opposed to LaunchBar’s more one-size-fits-all approach.)

Of course, if you’re someone who’s looking for a heavy-duty contacts manager with lots of additional features, it’s worth considering the $50 BusyContacts.

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