Android Apps

Smartr Contacts makes sense of your massive contacts list, adds fast search and social profile data [App Reviews]

September 27, 2011 | by Andrew Kameka

Commmunication, Productivity, Reviews

xobni-android

Let’s face it: contact management on Android can be a mess. There are often duplicates, it can be tough to only sync certain people depending on your phone model, and – like any contact system – finding information on the right people could definitely be easier.

That’s where Xobni comes in. Today, the people who seek to flip your inbox (see what I did there?) into something useful have released a new Gmail plugin and Android app that should make managing your relationships a tiny bit easier. Smartr Contacts ditches the alphabetical approach. It lists contacts according to importance, so a client or supplier who emails or calls twice a week is listed more prominently than Bob from Accounting, who you only deal with in January. And if you’re looking for someone in particular, there’s a fast-moving search bar or pair of home screen widgets to locate him or her.

Smartr Contacts builds profiles of the people with whom you interact. Job titles, photos, and contact details all appear on a user’s profile, but more interesting is the data that the app offers. Smartr then shows profiles from places like LinkedIn, which can be very useful for learning about (or refreshing your memory) people you have to contact. It also shows common relationships, a chart detailing how frequently you correspond, and a timeline of calls and emails. The highest tier of contacts will automatically appear when launching the app, and a live/instant search of suggestions appears as you begin to type. As someone who deals with hundreds of contacts – and struggles to discern the many Kristen’s, Kathy’s, and Kirsten’s who seem to dominate the PR world – this is quite appealing.

Xobni did well to integrate Smartr Contacts with information that may come in handy for people with large contact lists. The service links with a Gmail or Microsoft Outlook email account, but it can also add Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter profiles to get more data points for increased accuracy. For instance, I need to contact someone from Company A right now, but her Twitter update shows that she is at a conference in Germany and probably not going to reply. Rather than wait on a delayed reply or “out of office” auto-response, I’ll just contact her colleague.

Authorize Xobni to index call history, SMS, and calendar events – all optional – and you’ll get an even better picture of your contact data. You may run into problems with information overload, so this definitely isn’t for everyone. I see more than 3,000 people (Google Plus automatically adds people to Gmail) and don’t recognize many people in the logs. Personally, that makes me more likely to use this app, but I can see how adding more information for large groups may be counter-productive for some. For everyone else, quick searches that enable easy filtering and contextual information may be just what you need to get a hold of your contacts.

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Introducing Smartr, By Jeff Bonforte from Smartr on Vimeo.