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Brewster for iPhone Review

With so many devices, apps, and social networks in existence, your friends, families, and acquaintances are sure to be on a list somewhere.  Whether that somewhere is in Facebook, your iPhone’s contact list, or just sitting in your Gmail account; Brewster aims to help you round up that mess into an organized one-stop-shop.  Read on to learn about its uses and features in our Brewster for iPhone review.

Setup
It’s a given that an app which looks to assemble a list of contacts from multiple sources will require a few minutes of setup.  Thanks to the app developers as well as Apple’s SDK, this process is less painless than one would think.  The first time the app is launched you will be given the option to sign into your Gmail, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and FourSquare – with the added ability of having your iPhone’s contacts sucked in.  Each setup takes about 30 seconds making the entire thing take about 2 or 3 minutes.  You can choose to link all of those sources (like I did), or a subset.  Once you finish this task, the app will let you know it is compiling your list and that you will be notified when completed.  I had mixed results with this.  On my iPad, the app immediately had my contacts – however on the iPhone this message appeared and stayed for a full day, at which time I was not notified that the results were ready.

Features
Brewster is broken up into 5 main sections: Favorites, Updates, Search, Lists, and Me.

The Favorites tab will allow you to have quick access to individuals which you interact most with.  You will have to manually set this list up by pulling the screen down a bit and selecting Add.  The nice part is that Brewster does a good job of putting your most frequently interacted with individuals towards the top of the list and allowing multiple selections at once.  A recent tab will show any actions you’ve done through Brewster.

The Updates tab works similarly to a Facebook feed, offering information about contacts such as birthdays or actions taken by Brewster such as if a contact is added to Most Mutual Connections category.

The Search tab provides sections which contacts are broken out into.  These sections are based on different tags from different sources and are little more use than Groups on Facebook.

The Lists tab is pretty cool.  Providing you with either Smart Lists or My Lists, this tab will show automatically categorized contact Lists such as Trending, Losing Touch, and Frequently Contacted as well as an outlet to Create custom lists.

The final tab entitled Me will show you how many total contacts you have and from which sources they come.

The People Page
If you actually delve into a contact, a set of information will be displayed based on the round up from the different sources.  This means someone who you link to from Gmail, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter will have far more information than someone who exists as a lowly contact on your iPhone’s Contact list.  Information such as Job, Schooling, email, and mutual connections will be displayed.  Additionally, the app will show you from which sources that list was generated.

Overall
With innovative new animations for both loading and pull down to refresh, along with an all-in-on contact concept, look out for Brewster to make strides in the app market.  It currently has a few bugs (such as screen real estate issues on the search page) and some ugly formatting issues (such as enlarging small pictures to fill the screen resulting in pixilation) .  The idea and concept is interesting and as long as you don’t mind giving them access to various sources, this could be an app which replaces or leads the charge to replace the somewhat mundane contact list we are all used to seeing in the Phone app.  For the ingenuity and idea I give Brewster a 8/10.

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