Email groups and lists have become pretty much commonplace on your notebook or desktop computer, so why shouldn't you have access to the same sort of thing on your mobile phone? That's a problem that app developer Ringya is trying to tackle.
The company's software lets you convert paper lists into what it calls mobile "Rings" by either snapping a photo of them or emailing them to your phone in some sort of digital format. The idea is to be able to reach that list with a single click, and to be able to update them dynamically: if one person changes a contact, the information is updated for everyone who shares that list. You can share each list with others.
Certainly, there are many personal reasons you'd want an app like this: for example, managing all the people on a team or in a social club. But it could also be very useful for small businesses that have high turnover (like restaurants) or that have seasonal staffing needs (retail stores) or that use a lot of temporary workers. Or, you could simply use it to import your office directory, so you have easy access to everyone while you're on the road without having to enter everyone's information separately.
"We created Ringya as a Dropbox for contacts," said Gal Nachum, CEO of Ringya, in a press release about the new application. "We realized that managing contacts has become a real challenge for users and believe that only by spreading the management and maintenance work over multiple circles of trust can we address this challenge."
When someone from a list calls you, that information will show up as part of the caller ID. So, you won't spend precious (or embarassing) moments trying to figure out why that person might be reaching out.
Ringya has been available for Apple iOS for some time. The free Android application was just launched this week.