We released our biggest update yesterday and with a really exciting new experience. This update was all about making the first social network (before tech came along) that we have all known for eons, a real social network - live with updates .. Who has made changes? What changes have been made?
Now available in French, Brazilian Portuguese and Spanish, one of our favorite feature has been “Shake to Call”: Select one phone number (your “super-favorite”) and call it from anywhere in the app by simply shaking the phone.
It is so good that the only downside is that you might get your spouse or partner calling you a little more often than you might want :)
To select the “shake to call” number, go to the Contact’s Page -> tap on the ‘More’ icon to the left of name -> tap ‘Shake to Call’ icon)
Other features included in the update are:
- “Holiday Request” option with ‘+invite’ for individuals or groups: Easily request physical mailing addresses from contacts to send holiday cards (currently in English only).
- ‘More’ icon on left of name on each contact page which flies open to reveal: 1) Add Contact to Group(s) 2) Select as “Shake to Call” number 3) Invite Contact to addappt
- Badge notification on home screen for ‘Connection Requests’: See how many connection requests are waiting for you.
- Invite by Text: Invite contacts to addappt by text or email from list view, individual contact pages and groups.
- Improved matching algorithm to connect you with your friends
FRIENDS’ UPDATES that make your contacts come alive:
- Recently updated contacts are at the top of the ‘addappted’ group under the ‘Updates’ header. An orange dot on the right indicates the contact has updated their information.
- A badge on the home screen, for the addappted group, alerts you to updates.
- Animated UI when friends change their photo caller ID.
- Orange font denotes updated information.
- New Push Notifications API
- Thumbnail icon on home screen: tap to change your photo caller ID easily.
addappt hires Microsoft's Principal Development Lead
It is absolutely our pleasure to announce and welcome Carlos Brito to our team. It says a lot since Carlos is leaving something very secure to join us on our little mission to make the world addappt. Carlos will join us as our Principal Developer - Founding Team.
What makes this also an incredible fit is that Carlos is also literally addappting, a value we live by, by joining our small team - Carlos until last Friday was the Principal Development Lead at Microsoft and started there 15 years ago. He has extensive experience in software development and has worked in multiple releases of products such as Outlook and Windows along with managing and growing an engineering team.
On your left in the picture above with Jorge, on the annual sunny day of 2013 in Bellevue, Carlos is a native of Portugal who moved to Seattle in 1998 to work at Microsoft as a Software Design Engineer. He is married to a Brazilian and has two talkative children … just what an engineer wants, correct? Carlos is an avid runner and the Seattle rain never stops him from his daily runs.
We feel fortunate and proud to have Carlos join us. Having known Jorge for over a decade, he is going to be invaluable in supporting Jorge who has built all of addappt single handedly so far. Carlos has hit the ground running and we hope to share some of his exciting work very soon.
iOS 7 is rolling out to millions today and in anticipation, we rolled out our new version last evening.
Apart from being compatible with iOS 7 and prettier (fortunately for us, a lot of iOS 7 felt just perfect with addappt), we enabled users to now attach as many photos as they want to their email right from their contact list. Here is how:
Search for a name
Tap photo attachment icon directly from the search result
Pick an album
Select as many pics as you want from one screen
Photos app in the iPhone limits it to 5 images at a time
With the photos app, it takes 6 taps just to add an additional 6th photo. With the new addappt - one! If you want to share an entire album, addappt is one tap whereas on the Photos app, your fingers will probably not work on the new Touch ID the next time.
It is perfect for sharing photos when:
- they are private and frequent (Children’s pictures with grandparents anyone?)
- your friends are not using your photo sharing service, smartphone etc. With this feature, recipients only need an email address and
We believe we are not just for business since one wants to keep information of personal friends updated too - their new phone numbers, their mailing address, their photo caller ID and more. Having said, business folks will see its inherent value instantly.
We are working on a cool new version so if you are not already, follow us on Twitter, @addappt, to keep current.
As a company, we believe that people do business with people and users need to know who they are behind the scene. We build a technology product for you and us but the world is way more than technology - we are people just like you.
To make your relationship with addappt a little more personal, here is a snapshot of the current team.
We have had the opportunity to know many of you at a personal level and we hope to get to know more and more of you.
If you have any questions or feedback or even criticism, we are available and like to listen.
Please feel free to email us at help [at] addappt.com or email me directly at mrinal [dot] desai [at] addappt.com at any time.
Celebrate the 50,000,000,000th download with addappt
Last week Apple announced that to celebrate the 50,000,000,000th download on its App Store, it would award a $10,000 app store gift card.
We are excited to announce our ‘Double App’ Countdown promotion - we will double that prize if the 50,000,000,000th downloaded app is addappt, available for free at appstore.com/addappt. addappt has been widely and very positively recognized by WSJ, CNN, ABC News, ZDNet, The New York Times, AppAdvice, The Next Web, TechCrunch, VentureBeat, Forbes, LA Times, Business Insider and Geekwire, to name a few.
Above and beyond Apple’s prize of a $10,000 app store gift card, addappt will award the same winner with a $10,000 Apple Store gift card (Note: Apple store and NOT App Store) if addappt was the app downloaded by the winner to win Apple’s prize. Since Apple announces the name of the app and the name of the user, if the winner downloaded addappt as the winning app, he or she will be able to claim our reward by showing proof of winning Apple’s reward and by having signed in to addappt.
There will be only one reward (unlike Apple which is also rewarding the next 50 downloads).
Important - The winner has to be signed in to addappt with their first and last name entered for us to confirm.
Please note that addappt, inc. is not affiliated with Apple Inc. Apple Inc. is no manner responsible for conducting addappt’s Double App Countdown Promotion, determining the winner, or paying the prize. Further, addappt is in no manner participating in or responsible for conducting, or awarding any prizes in, the Apple Promotion.
We are thrilled to open up addappt to all and everyone ending our ‘by invitation’ only phase.
We are welcoming all with some very useful functionality that makes addappt far more functional that the stock iOS Contacts app:
Group Management - create new groups, rename them or delete any all from within addappt
Group Messaging - swipe left on any group to email, text or attach unlimited photos (iOS limits it to 5 currently) with that group by email, privately, via email. The ability to attach and share unlimited photos or an album is one of our personal favorites since we do not like to share all our photos on the web or and when we have friends and family who do not use Facebook.
Now, with a few taps, we can easily share photos of our travel, children and personal moments privately with whom we want to share and not be dependent on being seen on a news feed.
The name is a very significant brand component of anything or anybody’s identity.
Parents spend countless hours trying to find a name for their children i.e. their product, with various considerations and make lists. Here are a few we used as parents:
We wanted our kids to have easy to pronounce names. Yes - I go by Ricky Bobby at coffee shops.
We wanted it to work internationally so it could work wherever they chose to live.
We wanted it to have character and a personality.
We wanted it to represent a value that we admired.
In fact for our second one, we couldn’t pick one until a week after we left the hospital.
In summary, it is designed with an eye on the future.
Similarly with the name addappt, we spent countless hours and days doing similar things:
We wanted an easy name to pronounce (Ok - we fail here a little maybe)
We are self-funded start-up so a cheap domain name was relevant.
But most importantly, we wanted it to represent a value.
A value that we lived by personally – yes, if you care about your business, it is all personal. A value that we wanted the company to identify with and be the most important to us in the future. A value that lived forever.
Value of what though?
This is a journey for us - we can control that but we have little control of where we would finally arrive. We have aspirations and goals and we are working towards it but we believe we have far more choice and influence on our today than tomorrow. And if it was about the journey, whom we ‘travelled with’ was the single most critical factor for us. So to focus in, what we spent a lot of time was on the values that we seek within people who work with us to embark on a journey with no regrets - below is one short list we considered:
Like in children, and I know there are cultures where one is known as the ‘son of father’s last name’ etc., we wanted our company to be independent of limitations and so we could be free to capture all the possibilities the future holds for us. We did not want the name to narrowly define our technology product in the market. The product we aspire to create is a living organism, our company - a company that lasts longer than us, a company that changes the lives of people who work here first and then its users, a company that was ‘fun-o-menal’.
There are some advantages of naming a company to define your product but we really wanted to have a bigger calling. I remember really vividly listening to Larry Ellison speak once when he said, choose your competitor carefully since you will become that. Similarly, we wanted to choose our name carefully to make sure we had a bigger purpose in life than to just build a technology product. We knew we were in a marathon. We knew it was going to be tough. We knew we would need to persevere. We knew we would need to be resilient. We knew we were going to have fun. We knew it was going to be exciting.
Adapt was one that captured all the essentials for us:
Ability to leverage ‘failure’. As Einstein said, “The definition of insanity is to expect different results by doing the same thing over and over again”
It left no room for ego and/or rigidity
It provided us flexibility to listen and discard our ‘baggage’
It gave us room to be objective. I have always said that to be consistently objective, you need to be objectively inconsistent.
It gave us freedom to change our opinion if good reasoning was presented without feeling ‘vulnerable’
In technology, it is the only thing that is consistent - change.
It addressed mobile since by definition, you are continuously changing your location
It communicated continuous improvement. One of our favorite quotes is from Bob Dylan – “He not busy being born is busy dying”
It allowed us to work with people better than us to learn and improve
It provided freedom and ability to question the status quo like corporate politics and games
It reflected our desire for the long term
It provided us flexibility of changing the product completely if the market did not like what we had built since we began with it first just to solve our own problem hoping others would want it too. Fortunately and phew, we can now say that most struggle with an out-dated address book and want a solution
But fortunately for us, the name has a product story too - ‘add’ from address book and it’s a mobile ‘app’. Not to mention that the 2 Ds and 2 Ps, bring beautiful symmetry to our logo.
Far more importantly, our product is about managing change - change in your friend’s phone number or their home address for example. We wanted our product to automatically reflect and incorporate those changes so you never need to do any work. We wanted our product to adapt to you and not the other way around. One should always adapt too but for things with a higher purpose than technology in itself - so we hope to give users a wee bit extra time for that.
And yes, addappt.com was available!
Finally and most importantly, the name eventually reflects what your product becomes synonymous with what you deliver for your users. Here are some brands that have nothing to do with the product specifically:
Google = Search P&G = Household goods Apple = Mobile Devices Nike = Shoes Toyota = Cars Disney = Entertainment Pixar = Animated movies Amazon = ecommerce Patagonia = outdoor sports apparel
No - we are not for adding appointments in a calendar.
On 12.12.12 .. not to mention that we have 1T, 2As, 2Ds and 2Ps in our name!
We launched a week ago and now we cant stop telling people and I don’t think we will ever - it is an absolute honor for this tiny team to be reviewed in the Wall Street Journal in print yesterday by Walt Mossberg.
Here is his review where he quotes "After testing Addappt, I can say it does what it promises"
We all created our first social network in our address books. It was information we penned down and when it changed, if and when we were informed, we erased and wrote down all over again.
Today, with technology, we continue to do the same – everything has changed and yet nothing has changed for the address book. Jorge and I decided to address that (pun intended).
We picked the address book since it is our primary social network – we own it, our relationships and friendships, free and clear. Since we use it so often, we found it extremely inefficient:
Adding a new contact was painful. It was far easier not to.
Adding a new contact was prone to errors especially with touch screens. With names like Mrinal and Ferreira, we know.
We asked why the same individual contact information was manually being entered (or scanned) over and over again by hundreds, if not thousands, of us.
We asked why we were making the effort when the information would be unreliable soon i.e with a mobile and changing world, it had short shelf life.
We asked why its reliability depended on two parties:
the person making the change via a mass email AND IF (s)he does, then
the recipients to manually erase and type again.
So we took on our own small mission to build something for ourselves and hope you will love it as much as we do.
By embracing addappt, you can:
Orchestrate change: Tap your fingers to change your contact information once and see it update everywhere - in all your connected friends’ address books.
Enjoy personal responsibility: Friends maintain their contact information .. not you.
Own your friendship: Have up-to-date, rich and complete address book entries automatically on your mobile, desktop, iCloud and all your backups.
Be confident: Know the contact information you have is reliable.
Save Time: A single tap lets you text, call or email from the scrolling screen; identify who (probably) has iMessage and share contact information with new people easily.
Contribute to the ‘Stop Unsolicited Wake-up Calls Global Initiative’: See local time for a contact – BEFORE you dial.
Share fun photos: You control what appears on your friend’s phone when you call.
Get more birthday presents: Your shared birthday is added to your friend’s calendar.
Enjoy a sigh of relief: There are no privacy settings to manage.
Enjoy additional backup: All your connected friends’ contact info is always available even if your entire address book gets ‘lost’. Just open addappt again and accept their pending connections.
Be who you are: addappt is absolutely private – there is no ‘’brand management’. There are no updates to your friends who you are connecting with. There are no status updates. There are no updates that you have changed your photo. There are no updates about which of your friends have connected with whom. There are no counts of how many friends, connections, subscribers or followers you have or who they are.
addappt is about embracing change – change in contact information of your friends or changing the address book or changing a user’s life in our small way or simply just smiling more often.
addappt and orchestrate change with your friends – get the free app by clicking on the badge below.
Follow us on Twitter here, @addappt, and ask any question, share your feedback and any feature requests. We like to build relationships.