You have a lot of options for address books on the iPhone, but we like Contacts+ for being a solid option without a lot of bloat. It has heaps of features without being too overbearing or difficult to use.
Platform: iOS Price: Free Download Page
- Integrates with your iPhone contacts.
- Links into social media sites like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.
- Ranks contacts by importance and most contacted.
- Long press on a contact to email, text or call.
- Easily create groups to quickly find contacts.
- Search for contacts by phone number or names.
- Contacts can be sorted by frequency, favourites or alphabetically.
- Pictures and birthdays sync with Facebook.
- Various grid and list views.
Where It Excels
Contacts+ main appeal is its balance of ease-of-use and features. You can set it up in a matter of seconds, but it has a lot of features lacking in the main Contacts app. The big feature is the in-app browser where you can easily check out your contact's social media accounts without ever leaving the app.
That said, the social media profiles aren't in your face. If you don't want to link them up and use them, you don't have to. Unlike similar address book apps, you can also use Contacts+ without signing up for any additional services.
The automatic sorting of contacts is nice as well. Any conversation you initiate from Contacts+ is logged in the app, so you can quickly go back and see the people you're communicating with the most at any given moment.
Where It Falls Short
Contacts+ hasn't received the full iOS 8 update yet, so it's lacking some features. For example, if you want to send a message, you'll have to leave the app and head over iMessages. This isn't totally necessary in iOS 8, so it'd be nice if Contacts+ was updated to take advantage of that. The app also relies entirely on your pre-existing iOS contacts, so if your contacts are a mess, Contacts+ isn't going to help get them in order.
While Contacts+ allows you to create groups of contacts for easy sorting, there's no group messaging feature to actually contact those people. If your main use of groups is to send out quick emails or texts, this is a bummer.
Connect is a simple contact manager, but that's also what makes it one of the best. Unlike other apps that integrate a lot of social media profiles into your address book, Connect simply uses the iPhone address book and makes it better. From the app you can instantly call, message, tweet or email a contact. You can also easily create custom groups to make connecting to people easier (and make group messaging a tad simpler as well). If you don't care about social features, then Connect's the address book you're looking for.
Brewster combines together your iPhone contacts with Facebook, Gmail, LinkedIn and more. Once it gets everything together, you can instantly search through contacts, organise by location, company and more. It's a powerful app, but requires other people in your address book to use Brewster for it to be actually useful.
Cobook is another address book app that sports all kinds of social profile integrations. However, Cobook was acquired by FullContact in 2014, and while the app has been still getting updates, a full rebranding is likely on the way, so it's hard to recommend without knowing what'll happen with it moving forward.