If you’re worried about losing all of your contacts in your address book then you need Soocial. It’s a free app that synchronizes your iPhone address book to their online service called Soocial.com. As well as that Soocial syncs with your Mac, Gmail, Yahoo!, Mail, Windows Live Hotmail, Outlook and more. Soocial has some really great features including the facility to share parts of your address book with other people, this is tremendously useful for groups of people sharing the same interests/groups etc.
We recently interviewed the developers of this unique app, you can read that here, but this article is about how to get the most from this intriguing app. Enjoy.
Updated: 29 June, 2011
Current Version: 1.2.5
Our rating: *****
Once you have downloaded this app, the set up and sync is very simple. As can be seen in the screen shot above you need to create a Soocial account, this is very quick to do and only consists of adding an email address and password.
Once that has gone through, you will receive an email asking you to verify that you created an account. Just click on the link to confirm and then immediately your total number of contacts will be displayed, along with an icon to select to commence the sync.
Despite the warning that the sync may take a while for the first time, we found that even with 850 contacts, the sync was very swift and not a problem.
Once all your contacts are synched you have various options on the iPhone to choose from. There are four main categories displayed at the bottom of the page, these include Connect, Contacts, Sync and Settings.
Connect is a great category. There are three subcategories within Connect and these include Pending Requests, which allows you to view pending connection requests and accept or reject them. There is also New Contact, that allows you to share your contact details by sending a request via email to a new contact. Finally, and an option that we particularly like Connect With Friends – this subcategory allows you to choose someone from your address book to share your contact details with.
Contacts as you might expect literally lists all of your contacts as well as any individual groups that you have too. Within the Contacts category you can also add new contacts and new groups as well, again this is a seamless operation.
The Sync category allows you to re-sync if you have made any adjustments to your contact list. All you need to do is select Sync and then Sync Now and all the hard work is done for you.
The Settings category allows you to set up automatic Sync Reminders, as well as see where your contacts have been pulled from. For example, whether Soocial has pulled contacts from Mobile Me.
We have covered so far in this review information relating to using the Soocial iPhone app, that is indeed one aspect of this creative app. The other facet is the online address book and once you have set up your account, as in the first step earlier, you will then be able to access your contacts via Soocial.com.
As can be seen in the screen grab above, all of the contacts are now visible within our Soocial.com account. Again, from this position you can Add Groups, Add Shared Groups or Add New Contacts.
Soocial is a great app for many reasons and one that is certainly very important is the facility to sync your contacts from any other accounts you may have too. For example, if you have GMail, BlackBerry, Windows Mobile, Outlook, Android, Yahoo! or any other phones, you can connect all of those contacts to Soocial. This then keeps all of your contacts in one hub.
From the screen grab above you can see that I have synced my iPhone. As I am constantly using a host of devices from BlackBerry to Android to Windows and back again, Soocial is an essential resource. But that’s not to say that it is not of benefit to anyone else too, you don’t have to have a host of phones to benefit. Even if there are other phones in your household you can get them all to sync to your Soocial account so all the contacts are held together. It is really quite ingenious.
Soocial really is the boy scout of contact apps. It includes a Tool category that allows you to be ‘always prepared’. So if you need to restore your contacts from any specific date, you can do that here, if you want to create a backup of your contacts, that’s here too. It even has a Dedupe function that works in the background and looks for any copies of the same contact and if they match up, it will merge them. If the dupe details are not entered in exactly the same fields though they won’t be recognized as dupes. So, you may need to use a little bit of human expertise and manually check through them too. There’s a Cleaner category too that will clean up your contacts with various auto presets, such as removing formatting from all phone numbers or combing multiple notes into one big note.
Finally there is a Reset option allowing you to destroy all of your Soocial.com contacts. It will only delete them from the website and not from your phones, computers or any online applications.
So, you want to know if this app is worth downloading or not? Well, there’s a couple of things that you should know first. Although this app is free for a personal account, it is limited up to 250 contacts from 2 sources. If you have 1,000 contacts from 5 sources you will need to pay $4.99 per month. This reaches to $149.99 per month if you are a Business User and want to have Unlimited contacts from 10 sources + 2500 shared but there is also quite a lot of variation in-between.
When you consider just how much businesses will benefit from using this app then the figures become less of a problem. As for the single user then is really doesn’t register. Soocial is of great benefit for so many reasons, notably having one unified address book is really essential. Automatically keeping your address books in sync and safe are also essential reasons too. Just for the pure simplicity of managing your contacts and devices and managing it in such a profound and complex and yet simple way really gets our vote.
There is no doubt in our mind whatsoever, that Soocial should be on your phone and desktop, right now.