Xobni. For those who know about it, it is one of the most highly prized assets in your app box. The intelligent contacts mining service has been available for Outlook since 2008, came to BlackBerry in 2010, and is now expanding to Gmail, Android and iPhone.
Xobni is essentially a database tool that mines your emails for information and compiles this information into a searchable database.
It is designed to be a more dynamic contacts book than one you’d ever assemble yourself. Because Xobni does it all automatically, you never have to think about adding a particular person to your address book - Xobni just has the information to hand - and can pull in Facebook and LinkedIn data too, adding photos for example.
For those using the Outlook version, the level of detail you can flick through is quite frightening, and those who have experienced Xobni for BlackBerry will know that it means you can usually find details for people you have interacted with, but never added to your Contacts.
We’re guessing that both the Android and iPhone apps will work in the same way as the existing BlackBerry app, residing outside the official Contacts list - although the Pro subscription service might then let you import that information into one super contacts list, which is does for BlackBerry and Outlook.
In the past a service linking your Xobni accounts (Outlook and BlackBerry) together was part of a subscription called Xobni One. This has effectively been replaced by Xobni Cloud (which is exactly what is sounds like) and we assume the same linked service will be offered to Android and iPhone users in the form of the new Xobni Pro subscription costing $7.99 a month.
The Pro subscription means you can link your mobile device Xobni and Outlook Xobni results together. As many mobile users don’t have an excessive history of emails on their device, the benefits of having it scan your entire email account and sync this information goes without saying - for example, on the BlackBerry version we tested, it took us from hundreds of contacts locally on the device to in excess of 6000, when it added those it found in Outlook email too.
The new Xobni for Gmail service might also mean that using a traditional Outlook email client is no longer necessary, so Xobni can effectively work entirely in the cloud, although we haven't had confirmation as to whether the Gmail Xobni client will be able to share its data in this way.
Details on the new mobile apps are short on the ground at the moment - other than the images displayed - but the call has gone out for beta testers, so if you are interested, head over Xobni’s pages to find out more and register - they've already had over 30,000 requests, so you might just have to wait...
Oh, and if you didn't know, "xobni" is "inbox" backwards.