I had heard about Xobni (“inbox” backwards, in case you were wondering about the name) through Twitter, and while such advice should be taken with a grain of salt, it’s not often that people enjoy a company’s product so much that they state it publicly. The task is simple, yet I had never before found an adequate solution: to keep all of one’s contacts from various email addresses and social media outlets in one easily accessible, cross-platform repository.
Cue Smartr Inbox, Xobni’s response to years of customer service requests and forum posts asking, “How do I sync X with Y and Z?” To start, there are a few things you should know:
1. For an email address’ contacts to be added, it must be accessible by Gmail. This means that the account must either be a Gmail account to begin with, or that you will need to set up Google Apps if it’s a domain address (e.g. firstname.lastname@example.org).
2. Smartr is not meant to push contacts from one email account to another. Rather, as I’ll demonstrate, Smartr acts as a unique database for all contacts being collected from your multiple accounts.
3. You won’t have to go to Xobni’s website to check your email and have your aggregated contacts available. There is a Smartr extension/add-on for Chrome, Firefox, and any other browser you might use that will display a contacts list inside your Gmail.
Now let’s make it happen.
Step One: Go to Xobni.com and create an account (it’s free) using a Gmail address.
Step Two: Go to http://www.xobni.com/download/gmail to download the extension for your browser (the site will detect which one you’re using automatically).
Step Three: Login to your Gmail account and make sure that the Smartr window is appearing on the right side of your inbox. If not, try refreshing the page and/or restarting the browser.
Step Four: To add additional email and social networking accounts, scroll to the bottom of the Smartr window within Gmail and select ‘Add/Edit Accounts’
NOTE: From this page (https://www.xobni.com/account/xobni_cloud) you will be able to add social media accounts by entering your login information, however to add additional Gmail accounts you will have to log out of your current session and then log back in using the desired account. To reiterate, once you’ve got the Smartr extension installed on your browser, you should log into each Gmail account you want to add, then select ‘Add/Edit Accounts’ and then ‘Add a Gmail account’ on the Xobni Cloud page.
Step Five (optional iPhone integration): To utilize Smartr on your iPhone, download the Smartr Contacts app (free). The app will not only allow access to your aggregate contact list, but you can call, email, or SMS directly from the app making it essentially an upgraded version of the standard iPhone Address Book.
NOTE: To add your iPhone contacts to the Smartr database, select the gear icon in the top left of the app’s front page. Scroll down until you see ‘Push Contacts to Cloud’ and select it. Allow a few minutes for the database to update and your iPhone contacts will now appear within Smartr! Also check out our post about how to scan business cards with your iPhone.