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PhoneFace gives speed-dial the Cover Flow treatment

If you'd rather flip through photos than scan through a contact list, PhoneFace is the app for you. It's a photo-centric alternative to the iPhone's standard Favorites list.

PhoneFace puts a face (or weird avatar) for your frequently dialed contacts.

Like Cover Flow for contacts, PhoneFace lets you create a custom favorites list comprised entirely of photos (and/or avatars).

In other words, it's a visual alternative to the iPhone's own Favorites list. And a terrific one at that.

To get started, you tap the Plus icon, then choose an existing contact from your address book. If there's not already an associated photo, you'll have the option to snap one with the iPhone's camera, choose one from your photo library, pick an avatar from PhoneFace's collection, or even pull down his/her Twitter profile photo (if it's someone you're already following).

After you've added some contacts, you can flip through them just like flipping through album covers in Cover Flow.

When you tap a photo, you'll see a menu that lets you call any of that contact's numbers, send a text message, or compose an e-mail.

The idea, of course, is that it's easier to find a contact by face than by drilling through a text-based list. It definitely is, which is why I wish you could link the iPhone app's Favorites icon directly to PhoneFace. Having to hunt for the icon kills a bit of the convenience.

Of course, you could always add it to your "dock" icons at the bottom of the screen. My only real complaint with the app is its weird assortment of avatars. A silhouetted cowboy? An astronaut carrying a briefcase? Uh, whatever.

Still, if you're a fan of Cover Flow, you'll love PhoneFace. It's 99 cents.

Not a fan of Cover Flow? Then what's your favorite speed-dial app for the iPhone?