Xobni launches mobile, cloud products; opens gate for new platforms

Xobni makes a popular add-on for Outlook but a mobile version and cloud offering could open it to new platforms and audiences.

Xobni, an Outlook add-ons that actually makes me wish I used Microsoft's e-mail program more often, is unleashing the power of its technology with two product announcements today: Xobni Mobile, which is just a Blackberry app for now, and a new "linking" service called Xobni One.

The app itself - priced at $9.99 as a standalone tool for the Blackberry - indexes the e-mails on the device and creates new, rich profiles for the people you exchange e-mail with regularly. But the real power of it comes alive with Xobni One, a $3.99-a-month service that essentially indexes and "links" profiles created in Outlook and on the Blackberry. (With Xobni One, the price of the app drops to $6.99)

As an add-on to Outlook, Xobni didn't so much replace the address book as it did supplement it. Without a mobile version, the rich Xobni profile was limited to the desktop client. Xobni Mobile puts a richer address book into the cloud for access by both client mail program and mobile device. In a statement, Xobni CEO Jeff Bonforte said:

Xobni Mobile automatically builds and maintains the fastest, most complete and smartest address book you’ve ever used. The launch of Xobni Mobile on the BlackBerry platform is an important milestone for the company, and we have made this even more compelling by powering it with Xobni One. This new service is the foundation for all our future products, and is the result of a significant investment from our product and engineering teams.

I'm already thinking about the "future products" that Bonforte mentioned.

Previous coverage: Xobni expands to include enterprise but where are Web, Mobile and even Mac versions

I've heard rumblings of more to come from Xobni so I'm feeling kind of bullish about the platforms - whether mobile, desktop or cloud - that could be next on Xobni's upcoming list of announcements. (Can I get a Yahoo or Gmail version, please? How about a version that runs on the Mac OS?)

Xobni One is where the power is - but to really recognize it, you need it to run on multiple platforms. Android is doing a good job of merging the contacts in each of the e-mail accounts running on the devices. But it's not sending those merged contacts back to the email account itself - that data simply resides on the mobile device.

I've always had a tough time managing multiple address books. What a pain in the neck to do that manually. With advancements like this from companies like Xobni, it's comforting to know that the technology to merge address books and create rich profiles for my contacts is finally coming of age.

For a better understanding of how the Blackberry app works, check out the YouTube video below