Developer: SmallRock Software, Inc.
Price: free Download on the App Store
Here's how it works: Assign a unique gesture — by swiping your iPhone's screen — to each person in your contacts list. You can use different gestures for speed dialing, emailing, texting and Web pages. With a flick of the finger and an "abracadabra," for effect, the iPhone is at your command.
For example, you can assign a corner-to-corner gesture for Mom, a side-to-side one for Dad and a wiggle-waggle for your significant other.
What I found fun was coming up with gestures that represented the people I telephoned most often. Let's see, does so-and-so get a corkscrew because she's dizzy or should I use an L for her first name?
I can see how this app would be useful to send a message to a friend when you're supposed to be captivated by the boss yammering about "paradigm shifts," "leveling the playing field," and "win-win situations."
For myself, Gesture Dial would be most useful for when I'm driving. I could make a call without having to actually look at the phone, which is what I do now. It's a wonder why I haven't run over any new mothers pushing baby carriages across busy intersections.
Gesture Dial is easy to use and the help docs are handy if you need them. You can set a time delay for dialing if you're worried about accidentally calling the wrong person so you have enough time to abort the call. You can set the threshold of the gesture — meaning just how close to the original your swipe must be to initiate an action. You can also turn on/off calling, texting, emailing and Web page access.
It's a creative use of some of the iPhone's slickest features.