First off, the transition was seamless. The Contacts list looked much like what I was accustomed to, including a Quick Call button which showed my recent contacts, including when and how I contacted them last. So making and receiving calls and texts felt completely normal. And a bit more convenient as soon as I began remembering to open it instead of the multiple apps I was used to opening.
But then I discovered that the app offers much more in the way of marrying your social networking channels and creating more functionality in one place. If people are going to keep adding more and more things do do with their Smartphones, it will become increasingly important for some of those apps to combine the features of a bunch of other apps. Contactive does that.
One of the apps claims, which sets it apart from your normal address book, is that you can often be informed as to who was calling even when the caller isn't in your address book. This is accomplished by utilizing Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Yelp, Google Places, the White Pages, Gmail and their own Global Directory. It didn't take long for me to verify the effectiveness of this feature when the listing from a call from someone I had never corresponded with popped-up. I saw their name, address and a map showing me the origination of the call. Kinda creepy, but pretty cool.
The Update feature (when connected to Facebook) provides you with a list of upcoming birthdays (and probably other stuff). I found this feature useful because if I don't have anything to say or I'm busy, I often don't log into Facebook for a few days at a time. And we all know how devastating it is when you miss someone's birthday who you've never even actually met. :) Seriously, it's an easy and convenient screen to see upcoming birthdays so you can decide whether you want to send them a greeting or not.
The Lists feature also connects the Contactive app with the Lists you belong to on Facebook as well as shows you which of your Friends also belong to that group.
Because I love productivity apps, let's take a quick look at one scenario using Contactive. Let's say you get a call from someone you've been trying to do business with. You don't know them well and don't really recognize who they are when they call. With Contactive, their listing in your address book will show you how you are connected with them (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn) and you can quickly click on that link to get a little back story. Even while in the call. This feature alone makes it worth a download for me.
The Contactive app has gotten great reviews from some very respected sources (including CNET and TechCrunch) and the developers are working to add new features. I will continue using this app just so I can see what other cool stuff they come up with.
1) Contactive will identify unknown callers before you pick up the call.
Contactive was developed in New York City by a group of designers, marketers and engineers as a method to simplify, while expanding, your address book and the mobile experience. They've done a really nice job. Visit their website for more information.
Let me know your thoughts.