Free Address Book app for Mac – CoBook Review

Doing things with your Address Book and CoBook

One of the things that you are bound to do with your Mac is to keep track of your contacts. The application that you are likely to use for this is called Address Book, which is fairly good at doing the basic things that you need to do with contact management. With the Address Book app you can put in your names, nicknames, business names and so on, along with addresses and e-mail addresses. What has been missing though, is the integration with social networks such as Twitter and Facebook. This may be changing with the move to Mountain Lion during July of 2012 with the addition of Facebook integration to the operating system. There has already been the addition of Twitter to the connectivity in a previous upgrade to OS X. What does it take to have a really useful fully functioned digital address book?

Free address book  Cobook

Alternative free address book software

While it may be possible to add customised fields to Address Book for Mac, it is not quite the same as having built-in integration and with iCloud bridging the gap between Mac OS X and iOS. Another way that you could deal with addresses and contacts would be to use an application like Bento. Bento will pull in the address book details and you can create your own fields as you wish, but there are still no tools to make the job easier for you to integrate the social networks. This is where the smart electronic address book application comes in and it is called CoBook. CoBook is a free address book application and you can let it search through your social networks to either add or merge with what you have in the Apple Address Book application.

Working smart with name and address details in CoBook

It is very easy to set up CoBook after you have installed it. You are given options to connect to LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Google Voice. The CoBook installation also asks you if you want to have CoBook as your default application for addresses. If you are giving it a try then, I suggest you try that option first. Without a doubt I would recommend that you make a backup of your address book, before you do any of this testing with CoBook. Generally CoBook does work fairly well, but there have been one or two small difficulties and having a backup will keep you happy.

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Choosing the initial level of integration connecting CoBook to Facebook and the other networks

The first option is to choose the manual option. This option is really for those that really want fine-grained control of how the social network contacts are synchronised into the address book. You may not want to have all of your Facebook people in your day-to-day address book. Then there is the second possibility which is to only have the social names merge with the names and addresses you already have in your Address Book. For me this is the most useful of three options. You have a certain amount of the job automated for you and then you can still manually add some of your Facebook people, if you need to. The third option is to do a full merge and this is where everything from the social network is added or merged to your CoBook address book. Whether you would use this option really depends upon how large your social network is. You wouldn’t really want to have hundreds or even thousands of people brought in from Twitter or Facebook. I think the Address Book on the Mac with CoBook, works better for those people that you know really well and personally.

CoBook free address book alternative

So when a name is merged or added from Facebook you will see that the contact is tagged as being a Facebook friend. And the same thing happens with your other social networks that you connect up with. You can use these tags to just look for your Facebook friends or for just your Twitter friends and so on. There are also buttons that you can click on that will take you to the Facebook page, from the person’s details in your CoBook data. When you mouseover the area in CoBook, where it tells you that the person is a Facebook friend, there is a pop out which shows all of the profile information from Facebook. Very handy indeed.


Actually using CoBook on your Mac

You can get to the CoBook application when it is running easiest, if you have it set to pin to the menu bar. There is a keyboard shortcut that you can also use. Using the menu bar is a good option if you have lots of keyboard shortcuts and you don’t fancy learning a new one. Control shift and space bar is not that difficult to remember though.

There is a whole lot of editing that you can do with your contact. You can merely refresh it, add or disconnect the social networks on a one by one basis, as well as editing the basic data. When you have all the data organised you can do the basic things, like find address by name, so much easier and more efficiently. I like that in CoBook you can get rid of any Mac Address Book duplicates. It sometimes happens that you can get duplicates, even in a small address book when synchronising. CoBook will probably help you get a more personalised address book.

CoBook Review – Address Book for Mac alternative

The CoBook app for the Mac is free to download now and try. It gives a lot more options if you are a social network sort of person. Aren’t we all like that these days though? Take the free contact manager, Address Book app, that comes with your Mac and make it that much more useful. It is handy to have your contacts properly organised and at your finger tips by using CoBook. Do make sure that you make a back up before you start the synchronisation with Facebook, Twitter, Google Voice and Linked in. It is not that likely that you will have problems, but a back up is alway a good idea, just in case. My recommendation is to give it a try out and you will probably like it and keep it on your Mac. CoBook Mac app is going to be residing on my iMac for the foreseeable future in any case. Use this free address book as you personal and business contact manager.