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With its newest 1.3 version, Addappt is reach for a wider audience for its smarter contacts app for the iPhone. The open mobile contact directory is now more widely available for download and it has new features like work group contacts.
Addappt‘s big idea is to free your contact list so you can take it to any platform you want. It hasn’t lived up to that yet, since there is only an iOS version available. But at some point, you have to figure it will go cross-platform, and then it will be one of the apps that allow users to escape the walled gardens of the big platform owners. The contact app is also more social.
Addappt launched its limited distribution, invitation-only version in December, and the company has now updated it to include group management and quicker messaging. The update is all about getting more things done with fewer screen taps. With the iPhone, you are limited to sending messages to five people. With Addappt, you can create a group, delete one, or rename one. You can add contacts to the group with a tap. And you can message the group with a single tap.You can also add multiple photos to a message and share it with the group using a few taps.
The free app is the brainchild of Mrinal Desai, co-founder and chief executive of Los Gatos, Calif.-based Addappt, and chief technology officer Jorge Ferreira.
Addappt is an always up-to-date, private address book, maintained by your friends. When you sign up for Addappt, you create your own accurate contact information. Once you do that, the app will check to see who among your current contacts has adopted the Addappt app. When it finds a match, it asks both parties whether they want to share their contact information (that preserves privacy). Once they agree, they never have to ask each other for updated contact info again. That’s because whenever you make changes to your contact info, Addappt will automatically update that information in your Addappt friends’ phones. And when your friends change their contact info, Addappt makes the changes in your contact list.
The contact info is richer than a normal list. You can upload your own profile photo, add phone numbers, email, physical address, web sites and social media handles as well. You can tap on any one of the icons for texting or for phone numbers in order to initiate communication with your friend. If you want to text someone, you tap the text icon under their contact name. You can also see the local time for any one of your contacts. That way, you never call them in the middle of the night by accident. If your friend enters a birthday, then that shows up in your iPhone’s calendar.
The contact information remains private, and you choose whom you want to share it with. Addappt does not crawl multiple contact lists and bring the information to you, since that can lead to privacy violations and it often retrieves inaccurate information. To protect your privacy, Addappt does not store your address book on its servers. It doesn’t spam your friends, and it will not sell a user’s personal information to third parties, Desai said. Your data are backed up on the phones of your friends, and you can add them again if you lose your phone.
Previously, Desai founded CrossLoop, a peer-to-peer tech support market, in 2006 and he left the top post at the company in 2010. He also worked at LinkedIn as its first business development manager.