Remember the address book before it was digital?
No? Get off my lawn!
Back in my day, as well as having to walk five miles to school in the snow with no shoes, paper address books were a thing. They were essentially the first social network.
But the problem was how tedious it was to constantly update a contact every time someone moved or changed jobs. Sure, everything has gone digital now — and digital is supposed to be easier, right? — but think about it. What has really changed? We’re still slaves to our address books. We rely on the information to do business, get jobs, stay in touch with family and friends, and even send holiday cards. Yet we’re still struggling to keep our address books up to date, and we’re still constantly updating information. This is the problem that Mrinal Desai and Jorge Ferreira set out to solve with addappt.
Figuring out how to ‘addappt’
Mrinal was living in his address book. Relationships and connections were important to him. So, he always went to LinkedIn, or another social network, and then manually updated his contacts to be sure he had the correct information. The problem with this, though, was that this meant adding his contacts’ information from social networks.
His address book was no longer his own, it belonged to Facebook or LinkedIn or any other number of social sites and apps. He was depending on a corporation to keep his relationships straight for him, and that just wouldn’t do.
So, he asked himself, “How do I reclaim the address book and make it mine again?”
The address book done right
First of all, addappt gets rid of the middle man (e.g., the social network). You’re getting the contact info straight from the horse’s mouth — or address book, in this case.
Here’s how it works: As your contacts update their personal information in their own contact card, either in addappt or in their address book, it will then become updated for you as well. And then, every time you launch addappt, everything syncs. This includes your contacts in addappt as well as in your address book (Contacts app). It’s like a mirror. Everything is the same. You’ll never have to worry about your contacts having incorrect information for you and, best of all, you’ll never have to update theirs manually again.
And that’s not all …
Now, I don’t know about you, but I am a huge proponent of limiting the steps, and time, it takes to launch apps and get $^@! done. So, one of my favorite things about addappt is that the information is right at your fingertips. Instead of having to open Apple’s contacts app, tap on the person, find their email, then tap that, you can do it all right from the contact view: One tap and you’re done. Even the “text” icon will be blue to let you know if you can iMessage a contact or not.
So, even if no one you know uses addappt, it’s still better than the native contact app for you. It’s quicker and easier: Simple as that.
Another neat feature that addappt sports is that it shows the timezone of the person in your address book, just at a glance. This is extremely valuable to me, personally, because the people I deal with most live all across the country, and all over the world. And timezones are one of the most frustrating things ever. I definitely see this being helpful for everyone, but even more so for businesses and those who have many contacts from around the world.
No more opening up the Clock app on my phone to access the world clock while I fret about possibly waking someone up, or making a conference call at the wrong time. It’s a world clock and a contacts app in one. I like that. A lot.
And did I mention there are pictures? That’s right. I don’t know about you, but I have to have photos for my contacts. But updating them manually just plain sucks. Typically, I rely on updating my contacts’ photos via the Settings app, by pulling their Twitter avatars (and really, some of you have the weirdest Twitter avatars). Well, not anymore! Addappt allows you to upload a high res photo of your choosing for all of your contacts to have. And you know what that means: No more pixelated Facebook or Twitter photos.
I’m sure by now some of you are asking yourselves, “What about my privacy?” And rightfully so. A lot of people are scared of sharing contact info, particularly after some recent stories about apps that use your contact information without you knowing about it. Well, no worries here. Addappt has no privacy settings; it’s all up to you, the user. Only the people who you choose to connect with will be automatically added to your contacts.
When you first launch addappt, it will ask for access to your contacts. Addappt will never share or store your address book on their servers; all they do is send partial data to match other users (e.g., Jamie to Jamie), that’s it.
Addappt is not another social network where you can see everyone your contacts are connected to. All you’ll know, for example, is that you and I are connected; it doesn’t show anyone else you or I are connected to.
If I have you added in my address book, and you don’t have me in yours, you will see a pending request (like a friend request kind of) from me. Then you decide if you want to share your information with me or not. But if we both already have each other added, we will be automatically connected. Then you’ll never have to worry about updating my information — because I’ll do it for you!
Addappt will never spam your contacts or sell or share your personal info with anyone. The only thing stored on their server at all is your contact information, only the information you’ve decided to share on your own. That’s how the app updates all of your contacts with your current contact information.
Reclaim your address book
If you live out of your address book, and have been looking for a solution to keep you from drowning among your network, and you truly value relationships and keeping up with them, you’ll want to give addappt a shot.
Currently, addappt is by invitation only, so to sign up simply:
1) Install the free app.
2) Enter your email in the field provided (they recommend an email you share most with your contacts).
3) Tap the ‘request invite’ button.
4) Type ‘AppAdvice’ in the body of the email request.
5) Send the email.
And done. You’ll be loving how easy the address book has become in no time. If everyone used addappt, it would make keeping in contact a whole lot easier.
Now if only can someone can solve the email problem for me too …
If you wish to find out more about addappt, please read their blog post here.