Xobni for BlackBerry Now Available: Mobile Contact Mgmt. Redefined

BlackBerry users just got a whole new way to store and access contacts on the go: Xobni for BlackBerry. CIO.com's Al Sacco says the new app's a must-have for any and all heavy e-mail users with large contact lists. Here's why.

Tue, March 16, 2010

CIO — You may never use your BlackBerry contacts application, or address book, in the same way again. I know I won't. As long as the new Xobni for BlackBerry application is available, that is.

Xobni for BlackBerry Application Icon
Xobni for BlackBerry Application Icon

Today, Xobni--"Inbox" spelled backwards--released the much anticipated Xobni for BlackBerry contacts management application, along with an associated service dubbed "Xobni One," that links the Xobni BlackBerry app with users' Microsoft (MSFT) Outlook accounts to provide a much more robust BlackBerry address book.

Xobni's extension for Microsoft Outlook itself has been available for quite some time now, but Xobni for BlackBerry is the first official mobile version of the software. And it's not just for Outlook users, either; Xobni for BlackBerry can be used with most common consumer e-mail services, including Gmail and Yahoo! (YHOO) Mail, as well as additional enterprise mail options such as Lotus Notes, according to the company.

I've been beta-testing Xobni for BlackBerry and Xobni One for a few weeks now, and I must say, I'm very impressed with the application. Here's why.

Xobni for BlackBerry Contacts Page
Xobni for BlackBerry Contacts Page

Xobni for BlackBerry automatically generates in-depth "profiles" for anyone you communicate with via e-mail. Anyone, meaning e-mail senders, recipients, folks who were CC'd, etc. And the application organizes those profiles using "Xobni Rank," which orders your contacts based on how often you communicate with them, instead of the traditional alphabetical order approach. You never have to create new contact entries on your own when using Xobni for BlackBerry.

Xobni for BlackBerry profiles include phone numbers, e-mail addresses, profile images, and both LinkedIn and Facebook account information, where available.

And Xobni claims its service actually works better with more contacts, so you never have to worry about "overloading" the app, whether you have 50, 500 or 5,000 contacts.

The best part about Xobni is the way it's integrated with the BlackBerry OS, so it's both intuitive and easy to use. For example, you can add Xobni contacts to e-mail sender-lists by simply opening up a new message, scrolling to the very top of the display to the on-screen "Xobni bar" and then manually adding contacts one at a time by clicking icons next to their names until you're ready to return to your e-mail, via the BlackBerry "Escape" key.

Xobni for BlackBerry Profile Page
Xobni for BlackBerry Profile Page

You can also access your Xobni contacts without opening your BlackBerry messaging app by clicking the Xobni icon on your BlackBerry home screen. And searching for specific contacts via Xobni is easy and fast.

This is the way RIM's default BlackBerry contacts app should work.

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