One of the downsides of belonging to so many different social media sites is that you’ve undoubtedly amassed a fair number of contacts across multiple sites. Some of them may overlap, some may not. You may have some in your iPhone contacts, some on Facebook, others in twitter, and a few more in LinkedIn, and let’s not forget about instagram.
If that wasn’t already bad enough, now when you need a piece of information like a birthday, phone number or email address, you’ve got to remember which social media platform you know that person from to find that person’s contact info. Mobile Life Studio’s Savi People app aims to make your life easier by offering a single place for all these contacts and a way to merge the details, avatars and data from multiple networks into a single contact entry, which can be further organize into easily searchable and meaningful groups.
Importing my contact data from my iPhone, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram into the app was as simple as logging into these services via the Savi People app, and accepting the agreement to allow the app to access my data. This may be a deal killer for some, but I felt farily confident that there were no nefarious intentions at play so I accepted. After a little bit of import time, I had all my twitter, Facebook, iPhone and LinkedIn details stored within the app (I don’t use instagram).
It wasn’t completely smooth sailing, as I did have a few initial missteps when I first tried to import and merge my contacts, specifically with twitter. It took a fairly long time (I’m guessing this was due to my fairly large “people I follow” count) and the first time I attempted to merge the contacts, the app just sort of gave up the ghost and I had to relaunch and try again.
One particularly nice aspect of the app is it’s auto-matching/merge option which I already briefly alluded to. The app will try to find matching “people” across multiple social media services and automatically merge their entries in the database to save you the time of doing all the matching yourself. This worked pretty well, though if the names were not exactly the same between the services then sometimes matches were missed. For instance if a friend name James, goes by Jim on Facebook, or someone uses their Maiden name of one service but not another, you’ll have to make these merges yourself, which can become a bit tedious depending on the amount of contacts that you have.
The key thing to note is that this is NOT destructive to your existing iPhone contact list. All changes made by merging, grouping, etc are all contained solely within the app. The one major benefit that I see of this app offers is that now you have a single, “dynamic communication” destination for each of your contacts. What this means is that right from a single app, you have the ability to select a contact and make calls, send emails, SMS and iMessage, send a tweet (or DM), post to Facebook (including photos). No need to switch between unicaster apps, you have a single destination for most of your social media needs. Jack of all Trades style apps often fall into the trap of mediocrity, but Savi People actually does a nice job of handling most of these tasks. Will it be your primary twitter client…no, will it replace the Facebook app, probably not, but it does offer a way to do common tasks from a single central location.
As Facebook goes, I did find it to be a bit slow when retrieving Facebook profile pages. And there is always the concern that with iOS 6’s upcoming Facebook integration, it’s unclear how much of Savi People’s functionality will become redundant.
Savi People is the type of app that you will probably either find really helpful or just wont have a use for. Some people like to keep their networks separate. They may ONLY use Facebook for social circles, and don’t want that data mingling with their LinkedIn or twitter stream.
Savi People is a huge improvement over the iPhone’s stock Contacts app. However, since installing the app, I honesty really don’t find myself using it as often as I thought I would. In fact, I’d say that I use it about as much as the stock Contacts app. It is just my natural instinct to go to the actual app specifically designed for the Social media service I plan on using. I always have those service-specific apps open, so I’m usually in them anyways and can get the info I want/need. If I want to send a tweet, I’ll switch to Tweetbot, if I want to look at someone’s Facebook profile, I’ll switch over to the Facebook app. While it could be a real time-saver, I tried multiple times and just couldn’t re-train myself to use it for more than a few days straight. That’s not to say that it isn’t a good, and well-produced app, it just doesn’t quite fit my workflow. If you are someone with a lot of contacts across multiple social media services, and who is constantly calling, tweeting or Facebook messaging people throughout the day, then it may be worth trying out the app for just 99¢ to see if it is a good fit for you. You may find it to be a time-saver and just the ticket to help get your contacts into an orderly and manageable fashion.