Orbit Social Phonebook

THE DESCRIPTION:
An app aimed to improve organization and link your contacts to your social networks, Orbit Social Phonebook connects device users to their contacts in more than one way by linking their contact information to respective Facebook and Twitter profiles.

THE GOOD:
Have you ever felt that it would be nice to have a picture associated to every contact? Orbit does just that by taking a contact’s most recent photo from a linked profile whether it be Twitter or Facebook. The app has a “volume” option which regulates, by individual contact, how much you want to be updated about their status. It connects facebook, twitter, and emailing within the app so there is no lag time between opening and closing apps. A very unique feature, the ABC scroll on the right side of the screen magnifies like a click wheel so you can see the letter you are on in a nice visible fashion.  Also, the app allows contact categorization, allowing you to organize contacts based on family, friends, high-frequency updating, or any filter you decide.

THE BAD:
While the FB photo picture update is good, you cannot control what picture is linked once you decide to connect FB photos to your contacts. That means that awesomely embarrassing photo you had assigned to your friend will now be changed to his or her latest profile picture. Your contacts now control what their picture is in Orbit. Remember doppelganger week, or pokemon personality week? Orbit cannot control the updates of the facebook photos, so have fun with a contact list full of pokemon or celebrities. Also, while Orbit has the option of letting you sync all friends at once, it truncates friend lists, as seen in the app’s video review. Also, syncing all at once in most cases freezes and times out the app’s processing, so you have to reset everything. That means linking profiles to contacts, if you have a lot of facebook friends, should be done individually. While you can leave facebook comments, twitter posts, and emails within the app, SMS will be redirected into the standard iPhone texting app, meaning a lag between contact selection and message writing. While the app is free, advertisements surround the application, making it annoying to use at times. Lastly, syncing with your computer, according to multiple iTunes customers has caused many problems. Cases of outlook contacts going missing, iPhone contacts going missing, and complete wipeouts of contacts have been reported.

THE BOTTOM LINE:
On its way to becoming a very powerful app, Orbit needs some more bugs to be worked out before becoming a reliable phonebook replacement for the iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch. I would recommend the company begins charging for a version that is not ad-laden.

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