Liz Gannes

Recent Posts by Liz Gannes

Xobni Promises New Set of Apps Will Be “Smartr”

Xobni is trading one slightly awkward but endearing brand for another — Smartr — as it prepares to launch its contact management tools as a set of apps made by itself and other companies.

The first two Smartr apps are for Gmail and Android, available today; the next one on the list is iPhone. The Gmail and Android apps had previously been in beta, so the news today is more about the overall strategy than their existence. Xobni’s Outlook product will continue to be called Xobni.

All the Smartr apps will learn from users’ emailing, social networking and calling histories, compiling a detailed and constantly updated dossier on each contact. That expresses itself in some handy features, like an autosuggesting email composer that understands which people belong in a group together and whether to use their work or personal email.

That kind of feature may be especially useful on mobile, where users can type just a few letters rather than scroll through alphabetical lists of people they know.

Another Smartr feature compiles an automatic Twitter list of the accounts for all the people a user has recently emailed.

Xobni CEO Jeff Bonforte said upcoming Smartr apps will include caller ID and map views, and described recent company hack projects such as a Facebook app that shows when two users first met and an Assassins-style game.

Bonus video: Does the new brand make anyone else think of “The Simpsons”? See below:


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There’s a lot of attention and PR around Marissa, but their product lineup just kind of blows.

— Om Malik on Bloomberg TV, talking about Yahoo, the September issue of Vogue Magazine, and our overdependence on Google