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Sensobi a better address book for your BlackBerry

By Ryan Blundell on 15 Sep 2009 08:53 am EDT
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Sensobi

Have you ever actually sat down and looked at your Address Book on your BlackBerry smartphone? I mean “really” sort through it. I bet that there are a good number of contacts that you don’t even need. When was the last time that you talked to so – and – so? You may have some of those contacts; the type that you quickly throw into your address book. They are saved, but forgotten for many reasons; it may be because you think you may need to reach them at some point in time, or you make brief contact and want to talk at a more convenient time. Whatever the reason is, these lost souls occupy your address book and continue to grow. At this point you either keep them or delete them. I try to keep my address book trimmed down, but I always find a stray contact or two that have snuck in.

A while ago, Bla1ze turned my attention to an impressive Address Book alternative that helps you to see who you have talked to, what you’ve said, how often you want to talk and more. This application is called Sensobi Contacts. Rather than trying to remember when you’ve talked to this person last, let Sensobi Contacts fill you in. Lets see Sensobi Contacts in action!

About Sensobi Contacts

Sensobi Contacts is brought to you by Sensobi Inc. The newest version available is 1.5.459 and will take up 245.5KB of space. The application requires that you be using a BlackBerry with a trackball and running OS 4.2 or higher. Sensobi works with both BIS and BES. According to their site, Sensobi Contacts isn’t available for the Storm, but they are working towards a resolution; so sit tight. As it is currently in Beta, you can try it out for free!

Now, lets crack open the address book, shall we? Sensobi Contacts does a fantastic job of bringing your address book to life. As with your native address book, the application displays a list of your contacts and allows you to shortlist them by typing out the name or company. In addition to this, Sensobi offers you some very important information and options. Below each contact, you will see your last method of communication (call, text or email) and the date and time it occurred. This also includes missed calls as well. Some contacts appear in bold and some do not. The contacts in bold indicate you have had some sort of contact with them within the last 30 days. As your contacts are listed in alphabetical order, the application will display the bold contacts in alphabetical order first, then the rest of the contacts. An added bonus is that you can add contacts from within the application, and they will appear in your native address book. This feature generates a pop up where you can enter a first/last name and mobile number. Unfortunately, the mobile field doesn’t recognize that you are entering numerical characters; you have to use the alt button. If you require additional information to be stored, press more and you are redirected to the native “Add contact” field.

Sensobi
creating a new contact, basic version

To avoid confusion, I wanted to touch upon some of features that are incorporated into your contacts. Lets have a look at them now.

Rank, popularity, dots and more.

Rank – It’s always important to keep in touch regularly. This feature allows you to choose how often you want to talk to a contact. Sensobi give you three options to choose from; every week, month or 3 months. Each of these options, once selected, are separated by stars. Week, month and 3 months are marked by ***, ** and * respectively. These can be seen when viewing a specific contact.

Sensobi
Ranking

Dots – when looking at your contact list, you may notice some of them have coloured dots before their name. Red dots let you know that you have missed a call or failed to contact the person on time. Yellow alerts you that a scheduled communication is fast approaching. The green will tell you that you a good keener and are up to date. These dots will only appear next to contacts that are ranked.

ToDo – What’s the big ToDo? Let me tell you. This is actually another view of your contacts. They will now be shown by ranking (Red, Yellow then Green). You can also see the next time you are supposed to contact them.

Popularity – Okay, well all know that the cool kids have BlackBerrys. This feature is a point system. Points are earned each time communication happens. More points are earned if you reach out and touch someone rather than waiting for someone to reach you. I’m not sure how they came up with the values. For example, an outbound call netted me 13 points, while a response to an email awarded me with 18 points. Since using Sensobi, I’ve earned well over 300 points…too bad they aren’t brownie points. Keep in mind that, if you don’t contact someone for a while, you’ll start to lose points.

Viewing Each Contact 

Sensobi
Viewing contact info
Sensobi
Viewing Email

To see additional information for a contact, simply click on the desired name. The top of the contact screen will show the contacts name and company (if entered). It will also show the email address and phone number. If more than one number is assigned to the contact, you won’t see the numbers. You are only told the total number of contact numbers entered, ie “2 phone numbers”. You can also see the popularity points, ranking and last time you were contacted or made contact; a communication history. I like the fact that you can click on a specific entry in the history and view its details, whether it is an email, duration of a phone call or text message. Also, when viewing a contact, a row of commands appear at the bottom. You can use these to email, call, SMS, add a note, view additional info, and more. Sensobi Contacts also allows you to choose a follow up date, which can be saved in the calendar!

Sensobi
Follow Up

Multiple contact list viewing options are available through Sensobi contacts. Each view displays contacts with whom you have communicated within the last 30 days first. Here are the available views:

Importance – Based on the popularity points system. It’s a descending list with contacts with the most points on top. You can see the total points for a contact and the last communication (with its individual point value).

Sensobi
Guess who won this popularity contest?

Inner Circle – The initial view of the app, as described earlier.

Last Contact – 30 day contacts are viewed by the most recent communication first. Non-30 day contacts are listed alphabetically.

Alphabetical – Shows all contacts in alphabetical order; completely disregarding the 30 day rule, points or ranking. Entries for Companies are listed before entries for Individuals.

 

Conclusion

Sensobi Contacts is an interesting way to manage your contacts and see which relationships (professional or otherwise) you need to work on. The idea of a points system for contact is, dare I say, fun! Your communication history no longer requires guessing, as each contact entry displays it for you! For more information on the free beta application Sensobi Contacts, check out sensobi.com

Pros

  • View communication history
  • Point system helps you better your communication skills
  • Multiple sorting options

Cons

  • not all fields optimized for ease of use

More Info


Reader comments

Sensobi a better address book for your BlackBerry

30 Comments

I just downloaded this on my Bold and it seems like a pretty cool app. I haven't had time to really play around with it but from first look it looks nice.

Cool app. I really like it, but I'll have to use it on my Tour. Not very user friendly on the Storm. No landscape mode, and the buttons are not really optimized for fat fingers.

I have been using it for over a month now and I think its a great Contact Application, much more than the traditional address book.

cj

I've been using Sensobi on my tour now about weeks, and love it. Much more useful than the native address book. It is getting updated with fixes and new features once every week or two.

Their site says that it doesn't work on the Storm..? That sucks, this program looks like it would be very useful.

Ryan,
Thanks for the *stellar* review! We appreciate it. :)

Fellow Crackberry Fanatics,
Thanks for your overwhelming support! You guys rock.

Note that we currently do not support the Storm - but a Storm version is already in the works.

And if you have any questions, feel free to reach out to us. We're here to help.

Thanks!

Ajay
CEO/ Co-Founder, Sensobi

Pulled from the site, in case anyone wants to know the privacy policy for this app.

Sensobi Beta Privacy Policy

Last Updated July 1st, 2009.

Sensobi takes your privacy seriously. Please read the following to learn more about our privacy policy. This policy covers how we treat the information that we collect and receive. Your accessing and continued use of our application signifies your explicit consent to these terms and conditions of our Privacy Policy. We may update this Privacy Policy from time to time as our services change and expand. We will notify you of such changes by posting them on our site. All amendments will be automatically effective 30 days after they are posted. Unless otherwise defined in this Privacy Policy, terms used in this Privacy Policy have the same meanings as in our Terms of Service.
Information Collection and Use

Our primary goals in collecting information are to provide and improve our application experience, services, and features.
Personally Identifiable Information.

* When you install Sensobi and launch it from your BlackBerry device, the application will analyze past calls, email, and SMS data sent to your phone. We use the data to understand the frequency of communication between you and your contacts.
* We also collect data on your usage of Sensobi Beta. This includes but is not limited to accessing certain screens, interacting with certain UI elements, and initiating actions on the phone such as placing or receiving a phone call.
* We may also use your Personal Information to contact you with Sensobi newsletters, marketing or promotional materials and other information that may be of interest to you. If you decide at any time that you no longer wish to receive such communications from us, please follow the unsubscribe instructions provided in any of the communications or select the appropriate option in your user profile. (See “Changing or Deleting Information,” below.)

Log Data.

When you visit the Site, whether as a Sensobi Beta Tester or a non-registered user just browsing (any of these, a “Sensobi User”), our servers automatically record information that your browser sends whenever you visit a website (“Log Data”). This Log Data may include information such as your computer’s Internet Protocol (“IP”) address, browser type or the webpage you were visiting before you came to our Site, pages of our Site that you visit, the time spent on those pages, information you search for on our Site, access times and dates, and other statistics. We use this information to monitor and analyze use of the Site and the Service and for the Site’s technical administration, to increase our Site’s functionality and user-friendliness, and to better tailor it to our visitors’ needs. For example, some of this information is collected so that when you visit the Site again, it will recognize you and serve information appropriate to your interests. We also use this information to verify that visitors to the Site meet the criteria required to process their requests.
Cookies

Like many websites, we use “cookies” to collect information. A cookie is a small data file that we transfer to your computer’s hard disk for record-keeping purposes. We use cookies for two purposes. First, we utilize persistent cookies to save your registration ID and login password for future logins to the Site. Second, we utilize session ID cookies to enable certain features of the Site, to better understand how you interact with the Site and to monitor aggregate usage by Sensobi Users and web traffic routing on the Site. Unlike persistent cookies, session cookies are deleted from your computer when you log off from the Site and Service and then close your browser. Third party advertisers on the Site may also place or read cookies on your browser. You can instruct your browser, by changing its options, to stop accepting cookies or to prompt you before accepting a cookie from the websites you visit. If you do not accept cookies, however, you may not be able to use all portions of the Site or all functionality of the Service.
Information Sharing and Disclosure

We will not rent, sell, or share personal information about you with other people or nonaffiliated companies except to provide the Services, when we otherwise have your permission, or under the following circumstances:
Aggregate Information and Non-Identifying Information.

We may share aggregated information that does not include Personal Information and we may otherwise disclose Non-Identifying Information and Log Data with third parties for industry analysis, demographic profiling and other purposes. Any aggregated information shared in these contexts will not contain your Personal Information.
Service Providers.

We may employ third party companies and individuals to facilitate our Service, to provide the Service on our behalf, to perform Site-related services (e.g., without limitation, maintenance services, database management, web analytics and improvement of the Site’s features) or to assist us in analyzing how our Site and Service are used. These third parties have access to your Personal Information only to perform these tasks on our behalf and are obligated not to disclose or use it for any other purpose. We may also provide Personal Information to our business partners or other trusted entities for the purpose of providing you with information on goods or services we believe will be of interest to you. You can, at any time, opt out of receiving such communications by setting the appropriate option in your user profile or by contacting us at hello@sensobi.com.
Compliance with Laws and Law Enforcement.

Sensobi cooperates with government and law enforcement officials and private parties to enforce and comply with the law. We will disclose any information about you to government or law enforcement officials or private parties as we, in our sole discretion, believe necessary or appropriate to respond to claims and legal process (including but not limited to subpoenas), to protect the property and rights of Sensobi or a third party, to protect the safety of the public or any person, or to prevent or stop activity we may consider to be, or to pose a risk of being, any illegal, unethical or legally actionable activity.
Business Transfers.

We may sell, transfer or otherwise share some or all of its assets, including your Personal Information, in connection with a merger, acquisition, reorganization or sale of assets or in the event of bankruptcy. In such an event, you will have the opportunity to ask not to receive promotional information following any such change of control.
Changing or Deleting Your Information

All Members may delete the Personal Information they provided at the time of registration by contacting us at beta@sensobi.com.

As used in this policy, the terms “using” and “processing” information include using cookies on a computer, subjecting the information to statistical or other analysis and using or handling information in any way, including, but not limited to collecting, storing, evaluating, modifying, deleting, using, combining, disclosing and transferring information within our organization or among our affiliates within the United States or internationally.
Links to Other Sites

Our Site may contain links to other websites for news and other information. Our Privacy Policy only applies to the Site and we are not responsible for the privacy practices or the content of other websites. You should check the privacy policies of those sites before providing your personal information to them.
Children’s Information

This Site is not directed to children. We do not knowingly collect personally identifiable information from children. If a parent or guardian becomes aware that his or her child has provided us with Personal Information without their consent, he or she should contact us at beta@sensobi.com. If we become aware that a member is under the age of 13 and has provided us with Personal Information without verifiable parental consent, we will delete such information from our files.

Thanks for posting that. I probably would have missed this. Hope others are reading your post! I'll be fine using the native address book, rather than having another Big Brother looking over my shoulder.

I had used it before on my 8900 Curve Javelin. It had messed up my address book and later crashed my 8900. Good that i had a back up, so I was successfully able to restore it back!

Just installed and it is very nicely done. Haven't had time to use every function but so far I like what I see and the organization of this product. Thanks for the opportunity.

I downloaded to my curve this morning. Like many of us here I use my BB for work and for play. I love how I can see the type of communication history and set up a follow up for my work contacts. This is a big Pro for me. Since this in only the Beta I can't wait for the official release. I can only imitation more to come.

Installed on Storm just for a trial. Liked the interface and the options but too many glitches... No Landscape mode. TINY buttons for adding contacts.

Liked .191 for the 5 minutes I used it.

;)

Hi Guys.

Andy here - one of the Sensobi co-founders. For those who are concerned about the privacy policy, I’d like to explain what we do.

We only report on your aggregate usage of the application, i.e. how many calls, emails, and texts between yourself and your contacts while using our app.

Furthermore, we don't track who these contacts are.

We do report on how you use the app (for example, which screens you open within our application, which buttons you press, etc) so that we can understand where we can improve and provide a better app for the future.

As a software company working with such sensitive data, I hope that you appreciate that we place the utmost importance on the security and privacy of that information. I hope this addresses some of your concerns.

Thanks,

Andy

As soon as Sensobi offers full support for the Storm, it's going to be amazing. Until then, I'll hold off... Messing with its compatibility mode settings is annoying as it doesn't work perfectly.

i have tried twice to download it on my 8900 and keep getting and error that says "Error loading module 'sensobi' OutOfMemoryError". When I reset my phone it gives me the reload software: 552. Any Ideas

I'm going to wait for true Storm Capability.

But, I'm annoyed that I have to keep checking back to see when....

Also, the Storm's been out for over 6 months. What's up?

I have to say I have always liked the thought process that went into making this app. Having the ability to look at contact history can be very valuable.

I think the issues I've had with using Sensobi is how long it takes to initally load up. It doesn't cache any information, so if you completely shut down the app, it has to reload everything again. When you have an older BB with lower amounts of memory (88xx, 83xx, 81xx), internal memory is valuable and keeping the app running in the background isn't always the best option. When I needed to bring up the address book again, it is a waiting game to reload all over again.

I did report a crash to their development team and they were quick to resolve it, so they do listen to the beta testers.

But as Blackberry users we all restart our phones once in a while... Based on the age and soon death of mine, I restart frequently.

Whenever you restart the app rechecks your phonebook to recreate its log and usage details...

This can take a while since I have over 1000 phone numbers in my book.

But all in all, for a Beta its an excellent program and very user friendly, very.

I enjoy the app, and since i am running a beta 5.0 for my tour, when i go to send a SMS txt, it optimizes the messages and font, makes it better actually...

But, it's a Beta, so no worries.

My concern is that, as far as accuracy, this only applies to calls/emails and such that come across my Curve 8330.

I also work at a desk and use my GV number to receive/make calls (and I use GV to receive/make calls on my cell) and I don't think Sensobi is set up to track these.

Currently, I have my GV set to show my only my GV number on caller ID on my BB until my transition to this number is complete.I figure 6 months time, I can revert to normal caller ID for incoming GV calls.

Anyway, anybody using this with GV that has regular caller ID set up? Is it working/tracking accurately?

Thanks,

Agent

webkinz
The review is great and it is just what I have been looking for. The problem mentioned is a genuine one and I guess there is a solution to it now.

Hi there,

Sensobi is now out of beta. You can get our free and full versions of the app from App World.

thanks,

Andy