APP OF THE DAY: Cobook review (Mac)

Easy access to your most important information is one of the benefits of modern devices, be it a smartphone or computer. Smartphones, thanks to their light take on things, often offer a solution that surpasses some of the more cumbersome desktop equivalents. 

While a desktop application might give you power above and beyond anything that your smartphone will offer, sometimes there is too much software and not enough of what you really want: your information. Today's App of the Day takes contacts and gives them a distinctively smartphone spin on the desktop of your Mac.

Cobook

Format
Mac
Price
Free
Where
Mac App Store

Cobook is an app that sits on the top of the Mac Address Book, feeding off the information within it, but giving it a much more modern and accessible spin. The aim is to make your contacts more immediate and more social, by linking in a range of social networks, including Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

It trumps the native Mac Address Book in being more immediate and fleshing out the details, with images, with relative ease. If finding contacts is one of your daily tasks, then it can certainly help and free you from Apple's rather boring effort. 

It relies on Address Book however, so your contacts will be drawn from here. This means you can use the native syncing that Address Book offers and get all the benefits in Cobook. If you have a Google account, for example, you can sync that as normal and find all the results in Cobook, without having to ever open Address Book itself. 

That gives you a sort of "best of both worlds approach", with Cobook sitting on your system bar, ready for you to search and find people. It will also let you add new contacts easily, staying open over the top of other applications, so you can copy information across from an email for example.

Cobook also does a good job of identifying the information you are adding - for example, a new phone number. This makes the job of fleshing out contacts nice and fast, with the correct information dropping into the right fields.

The social network side of things is a nice touch too and gives you the sort of feeling that Android users probably now take for granted, with pictures appearing and instant access to the profile of that person.

You can have a search box appear on a click of the icon, with instant results appearing as you type. It searches across fields, so you can easily pick out a company, for example. 

Of course, Spotlight offers contact searching in Address Book anyway, but we feel that Cobook is better at keeping things clean and only returning the contacts you want, rather than a whole collection of content, documents, etc. 

Cobook is free through the Mac App Store, so you can test drive it and see if it helps you root out the perfect person in your contacts list. We've found it really useful over the past six months of use, so it comes recommended.



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