There are piles of address book alternatives for the iPhone, but after digging through them all, we settled on Smartr Contacts as your best bet. It gives your contacts an upgrade by adding a historical overview of your interaction and adds social media updates to their pages. Overall, your address becomes much more useful.
- Uses iPhone contacts.
- Uses contacts from your email accounts (like Gmail, Yahoo! and Hotmail).
- Uses social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to pull up-to-date contact information and supply contextual contact data.
- Ranks contacts by importance.
- One-click access to call, email or text a contact.
- Photos and recent communication history make it easy to know who you’re talking to.
- Social media updates are integrated into contacts so you can easily stay up to date with a contact on multiple sites.
- Contacts are kept in the cloud so if you were to lose your phone you could simply re-install the app and get them back.
Smartr Contacts is one of those apps that will surprise you by being free. You won’t find advertisements, but simply a really great, intelligent address book. While the setup process can take a little while, as you have to connect at least one email and social media account (although you’ll want to connect as many as possible), once you’re in it’s a really neat experience. Smartr Contacts works like most contacts apps, but the interface is very appealing with plenty of shortcuts to easily get in touch with others in various ways with just one tap. Once of the nicest features, however, is how it provides social media updates and contact history on individual contact pages. You can see how frequently you’ve been in touch and what that contact is up to right now. This live information is really nice to have, and also makes it possible for Smartr Contacts to sort your contacts by importance. Overall, it’s a very nice upgrade to the standard iPhone contacts app and won’t cost you a cent.
There’s very little to complain about here, but you should be mildly wary of any app that wants access to your contact information through social media accounts. While you’re probably not going to run into any trouble, you are making a lot of personal data of your own and of other people available to a company. You’re doing this without the consent of all these other people. If the company acts ethically, this isn’t a problem, but you can’t really know how any particular company will treat your private data. Mild paranoia is healthy here.
Tacts (free) is another great contacts app. It doesn’t supply any of the neat social features that Smartr Contacts does, but you do get some of the best filtering and sorting tools you’ll find in an address book app as well as a nifty neon interface. If you’re more interesting in contact organisation than anything else, Tacts is worth a download.
Youlu Address Book (free) is a nice address book alternative that makes it easy to sort your contacts into groups. It also comes with several free messaging features built-in, and allows you to transfer contacts to other Youlu users easily via QR code.
Dialvetica Contacts ($2.99) is a bit overpriced and more of a speed dial app, but it’s a very good speed dial app. It isn’t going to manage your contacts but it can help you find what you’re looking for very quickly. It also uses data on your phone to prioritise your contacts based on how often you contact them.
Delete Contacts Fast ($0.99) isn’t really an address book app, but I felt it was worth mentioning because it’s a quick way to clean out your contacts when they’ve become unruly. This may be appealing to some.
Lifehacker’s App Directory is a growing directory of recommendations for the best applications and tools across multiple platforms.