Wondershare Software, a renowned name among computer and smartphone users, is one of those application developers that needs no long introduction. Having developed several fine multimedia apps for Android and iOS, including the previously-reviewed Wondershare Player, the team has decided to try its hand at a social contact book in the form of FriendIn. Available for Android as well as iOS-powered devices, FriendIn aims to consolidate your all your phone, social and mail contacts under one hood, allowing you to easily view and interact with them from within a single app. It lets you sneak peek into your contacts’ social profiles, status updates and business info from some of the leading social networks, such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, and lists all the emails that shared with your Gmail and Yahoo! contacts. In addition, the app supports a built-in texting and mail filtering tool, extended contact info/profile viewer, and a native Facebook, Twitter & LinkedIn explorer. Using the app’s Magic Shake feature, you can instantly switch to the list of your most frequent contacts by just shaking your device. That’s not all; FriendIn is also capable of reminding you of upcoming friends’ birthdays, and lets you filter contact lists in multiple ways.
As with any social network-supported app, FriendIn requires access to your online accounts to pull all the needed information from over the web. Therefore, when launched, it first welcomes you via a brief tutorial-based splash screen and then prompts you to affiliate all your (required) social and mail accounts with FriendIn. Past that you’re taken to the app’s homescreen that lists your contacts alphabetically. The top segment of this screen comprises the search bar, the filters dropdown, a button to add new contact, and the birthday reminder tab. The digit atop this tab represents the notification counter for upcoming birthdays of your various Facebook friends. To explore the list of all birthdays, just hit said tab. The following screen displays your friends’ names, as well as the key numbers relevant to their birthday.
As mentioned earlier, through its Magic Shake feature, the app lets you sort the contacts list by the frequency of your interaction with them. For this, just shake your device when on the app’s homescreen. Using the dropdown in the top-left corner, you can sort this list by all contacts, favorites, phone contacts or just those from the affiliated online services. A rather disappointing and annoying thing with FriendIn is that it doesn’t stack up all the various accounts associated to a specific contact under a single entry. Instead, it treats each account/profile as an individual entry, and in doing so, not only it clutters the whole list, but also makes it difficult to fathom as to what specific info an individual entry might be holding. Tapping a contact’s name takes you to their general Info screen that lists information about their phone number(s), email IDs, address, websites and other contact details.
Swiping sideways, you can navigate to various segments of the app, such as the messaging screen, social media updates screen and the mail filter screen. The Updates screen is further split into three sections that help you take a look at your contact’s profile page (wall, timeline etc.) from Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. On this note, it is worth mentioning that in case the app fails to automatically detect your contact’s existence on a specific social network, you can help it by manually associating the contact’s social profile with the relevant entry. The Mail feature of the app is fairly simply designed, with the only option available being the filtering of mails by sent or received. The messaging section, on the other hand, sports a GO SMS Pro-esque looks, with bubble-style messaging threads and a text box sitting at the bottom.
Having extensively tested the app on a couple of different Android devices sporting contrasting screen sizes (and resolutions), we have to say that it has to be cited as a disappointment, simply because of its inability to scale properly on either, and also because of a couple of undercooked features. While the app, for the most part, blatantly refused to respond to touch on Galaxy Nexus (running Android 4.1), it presented us with an all-scrambled UI on Huawei IDEOS u8150. Our issues with the app splitting a single contact into multiple entries have already been discussed above, while another issue that leaves a bad taste in one’s mouth is the heavy toll that FriendIn may take on your device’s battery.
So, unless your mileage with FriendIn varies considerably, we are afraid, the app might leave even the most optimistic of users a lot to long for, especially considering the reputation of the developer whose app is in question. That being said, the app’s performance on an iDevice is yet to be seen, and for the sake its own good (because there are plenty of established competitors already available), we sincerely hope that things are totally different as compared to what we got to see on Android.