One of my greatest gripes with the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch, is how little Apple’s set of native apps have evolved over time. There are exceptions to this of course, like Mail, Photos and Safari, which have changed and improved to some degree, but overall, most of the core Apple set of native apps have remained the same.
One of the most glaring examples of this is Apple’s Contacts app, which besides some basic changes in its looks, has basically remained unaltered through the entire existence of Apple’s smartphone since it debuted in the market on 2007. Because of that, there has been a flood of contact applications that have showed up on the App Store, but due to the vast amount of these available, it is not easy to choose the best one.
Of course, every user has their own needs and tastes, but of all the free contacts apps that’s I’ve tried, Cobook has proved to be the best one so far. Let’s take a look at what makes it a great choice for anyone looking to replace the native iPhone Contacts app.
A Better Contacts App
Many apps out there are usually judged by the number of options and features they have, yet in the case of contacts apps, the simpler and more functional they are, the better. This is exactly what Cobook achieves, with a simple interface and different ways to access your contacts.
To start, the app allows you to choose from among only your iPhone contacts or from all of them, including the ones you create on the app itself. This might sound redundant, but it takes us to a very important feature of Cobook: The app does not integrate with any online service and instead keeps your contacts stored locally. Some people like to have their all their contacts and calendar data stored on the cloud, but for those who don’t and who like to keep their sensitive contact information private, Cobook is a great alternative.
As mentioned above, Cobook allows you to access your contacts in different ways. Upon opening the app you can immediately access your contact list, which you can search in the traditional way using the search field at the top of the screen. In addition to that though, tapping the grid icon at the next to the search option at the bottom of the screen will take you to a sort of dial pad where you can search through your contacts either by name or phone number.
I found this search method very efficient and is the one I use the most.
One of the best features of Cobook in my opinion is the way it integrates with social networks like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
You can, for example, add your Twitter account and can start navigating through it and adding contacts to Cobook right from your Twitter profile. Cobook pulls all the necessary information from each Twitter contact or Facebook friend and gets it ready for you to add to the app.
If at some point you want to filter out all those contacts you added from your social networks, you can use the All Contacts/iPhone Contacts option mentioned above to do so.
Final Thoughts on Cobook
As you have seen, Cobook brings to the table a few tricks that put the native Contacts app to shame, and does so while at the same time remaining simple and easy to use. Give it a try and let us know if it has enough to become your default contacts app.