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  • Brewster: A New Kind of Address Book
Technology Articles > Cell Phones > iPhone > Brewster: A New Kind of Address Book

How many people do you know? Thousands? Maybe more? How can you stay in touch with all of those people? Sites like Facebook and LinkedIn help, but these sites don’t allow you to enter a person’s contact information into your address book. A new iOS app (for now) called Brewster wants to change the way that your address book functions. This free app aims to bring all the people you know to your address book, so that you can stay in touch, for real, at all times. If you think that you need a new way to store all of your addresses, here’s what Brewster has to offer:

Starting Up the Brewster App

When you start up the Brewster app, you will be asked to sign in via Facebook. A few clicks later and your Facebook account will be successfully connected to your Brewster account. From there, Brewster will ask you if you want to import your current iPhone address book and your Gmail account (if you have one). Once that’s done, Brewster will ask if you want to import LinkedIn, Twitter, and various other contacts to your new Brewster address book.

After signing up to add Gmail and migrate all email, Facebook, LinkedIn, and address book contacts (in addition to others you may want to add), Brewster will merge all of these contacts into one handy address book. The setup process takes a few minutes to complete, but the app will notify you when all the addresses have been merged. In the meantime, you can go through the Brewster Tour, which will let you know exactly how the app works (very handy if you are lost at all).

The Brewster Interface

As soon as the app is downloaded, using Brewster is very easy to do. Since the idea here is to merge all of your contacts into one address book, it’s simple to figure out what services you want to add and which ones you want to leave alone. Brewster promises not to share your information, post on your behalf, or do any other crazy things. What’s really cool about Brewster is the way that the finished address book actually looks. What you will see once the app is done uploading your contacts is a helpful interface that shows people’s faces – all of the people you have in your social networks.

From there, you can select your “Favorite People” by tapping on someone’s photo. You can also drag and drop someone’s picture in order to keep things just the way you like them. Once you have set up your favorites, you can then tap on a photo to view contact information – and here’s where Brewster could get better.

Some Suggestions for the Brewster Team

I found that the one problem with Brewster is that the app doesn’t recognize a duplicate person. Say, for example, that I want to add a friend from Facebook, but that friend is also on LinkedIn and in my address book. Brewster will let me add all three contact photos, even though it’s the same person (this can get confusing when looking at the photo-oriented address book). The other problem (and I’m not sure Brewster can fix this one), is that if someone hasn’t published an email or phone number via Gmail or a social network, that contact information won’t show up. So, basically, you are left with someone’s profile picture.

Drawbacks aside, Brewster does have a ton of potential, it just needs a bit of polishing. Adding contacts from all possible sources is a great idea, and it’s easy to see every detail about someone you talk to regularly just by tapping on a Brewster contact photo. If you have an iPhone, download this free app and give Brewster a shot.