How Much Do You Want Your Address Book To Do?

BlogHer Original Post

I subscribe to a daily newsletter from Netted, where I frequently find great apps I love. Sometimes the newsletter mentions an app I'm not interested in, which is fine – I don't have to love and use every app out there. This week an email was titled Call Me, Maybe and was about two new address book apps. The two address book apps definitely interested me. More precisely, what interested me was how the women of BlogHer would feel about them.

current caller id screenshots
Current Caller ID screenshots from Google Play

The two apps are Current Caller ID for Android and Brewster for iPhone and iPad. They do approximately the same thing. They aggregate all the information on a contact in your address book to include data from sites such as Facebook, Gmail, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Foursquare.

Netted explains Brewster,

Brewster corrals everyone you know from Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Gmail, and your phone’s contact list and creates a universal entry for each person, including all contact methods and a photo.

Besides putting a face to a name, Brewster uses information culled from social networks to help you use your contacts in a whole new way. It can remind you to call Dad on his birthday, compile a list of people you’ve lost touch with, and even search by hometown or occupation.

Netted describes Current Caller ID,

Current Caller ID takes that same information — like the caller’s latest tweets or their location's current weather — and flashes it on the screen when you receive a call. The app also creates infographics showing how you communicate with each contact and what’s the best method and time to reach them — or avoid them.

The two apps received good reviews from users, from the folks at Netted, and from the press.

Call me old-fashioned, but when I put someone in my address book I want to call them, text them or email them. For good friends and family I may have a photo connected to the contact. My address book contains a lot of business contacts – some of them are not even real names, but a blog name with an email address, and definitely no phone number or photo.

Okay, fine. If I don't want all that extra information on everyone in my address book, I don't have to download the app. Easy peasy.

Except what about the other people who are using the app and seeing all that information about YOU in their address book?

We've had many thoughtful discussions here on the pages of BlogHer about anonymity on the web, about revealing too much information, about security and privacy, about telling all vs. telling only some, and about apps that can pull information from one site into another context. For that reason, I'm wondering what your thoughts are about these two apps. Have you used them? Are you excited to give them a try? Do they seem invasive or do they seem harmless? Are they too much information or just what you want to know? What do you think?

Virginia DeBolt, BlogHer Section Editor for Tech
virginia.debolt@blogher.com
Virginia blogs at Web Teacher and First 50 Words.

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