With the advent of social media and the amount of people that we are coming in contact with on a daily or weekly basis, the basic address book is no longer cutting it. The days of knowing only someone’s phone number and email are no longer acceptable because there is so much more information on that person.
Up until now, Apple never has done anything spectacular with their Address Book on either the Mac or iOS, so you know that this space was ripe for the picking. I believe that Smartr Contacts may have come at a good time. Let’s find out after the jump.
Setting It Up
Like I mentioned, when it comes to contacts, there are so many more people you know than just what is in your address book. You have Twitter and Facebook friends, as well as connections you have made on LinkedIn to add to your list as well.
What Smartr does is that it takes all of these people and puts them into one huge address book. In order to make this happen you have to add your email accounts as well as your social networks to Smartr so that it can collect all of this data for you. For email, you can add Gmail, Yahoo and Outlook accounts, as well as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn for your social networks.
Once this is done, Smartr takes a few minutes to collect all of the people in your social networks and email and complies a searchable address book for you. The app gives you two options to find contacts, either through searching or scrolling through your address book. They have made the feature very handy to use in that you can not only search by name, but by business, email, position, etc. With your email and social network contacts in one, giving you many options to search for someone is a very powerful tool.
Full Featured Contacts
The power of Smartr lies in the actual contacts of the people that you have in your address book. When you first find someone in the app, you will notice all of the basic information that you have for that person, ie. phone number, email addresses and their Twitter name, if you have them. So you can call, SMS or email them straight from this page, just like you would in your iOS address book. But there is so much more to a contact page than just what you see at first glance.
For example, in the header, if you are connected to the person on more than one social network, you can swipe across and it will show you the person’s information to that particular network. My wife has a Facebook, Twitter and a LinkedIn account so I can swipe through to see all three social networks and if I want to give her a message on Twitter, all I have to do is swipe over to that heading and then press on it and it will take me straight to it on my iPhone. The same will work for Facebook (if you have the iPhone app) as well as LinkedIn.
Secondly, you will notice two more tabs in the address book, called History and Common. The History feature is neat in that it will search through your email to see what messages you have in common with that person. It could be emails between the two of you and it could also be messages that were addressed to the both of you. You also get a handy graph that tells you how many messages that you two had in common over the past year. I can definitely see how this feature would be very helpful for business people who constantly email people back and forth.
The last tab called Common, finds all of the people that you and that person have in common with each other. I am not exactly sure how they are able to do this, but the list of people that my wife and I have in common was pretty accurate with the exception of a few people that I had no idea who they were. This was probably the feature that I didn’t really find that useful. It was neat to see who I had in common with others, but I just didn’t see the need for it.
Integration with iOS
Because a lot of us still use your address book on iPhone as well as on our computers, Smartr decided to integrate your contacts on the app with them. If you are connected to iCloud, you can push your contacts to the cloud through Smartr and they will go directly to your iPhone address book as well as your computer. Because it uses iCloud, you have the option to either use this feature or not, but turning off the sync feature in the iCloud settings.
I have to say, it did take me a bit to warm up to this app and really understand how it all worked. There are many facets to it that it can be a bit overwhelming at first. But, the more I used and stuck with it, the more I started to like Smartr. What I also like is that even if this app may seem geared toward business people, I still think this can be useful for the casual user that just has one email account and say a Facebook. To be able to have contacts from both accounts will definitely come in handy for those people.
You can find Smartr on the App Store for the low price of free. I personally would pay money for this app as it has so many features in it that I find useful. So go and try and it and let us know what you think. Will replace your address book on your iPhone?
An address book for your iPhone that combines the contacts from your email and social networks into one.9