When was the last time you looked in your address book on your mobile device? Go ahead, look at it now. Can you tell how many contacts have outdated information? Why must you be the one to keep up with the latest information? Shouldn’t your friends be the ones to inform you when they’ve moved, changed their phone number, quit their job, or changed their name? All good questions, but how can this problem be resolved?

Enter Addappt (pronounced “Adapt”). Using its Bump-like features, the service will replace your existing address book with one that is more modern and high-tech. It’s launching today for the iPhone and hopes to eliminate the pain point of constantly and manually updating countless contacts every few weeks or months. The idea? Get your contacts in order by making them do the work by letting you know when their information changes — all through a single application.

Here’s how it works

addappt screenshot 01 520x527 Addappt is Bump reimagined: Keep your address book current by having your friends do it for you

When you meet someone and want to share your contact information with them, you add in their email address into your phone and the recipient will receive an invitation to send their contact information over based on what’s stored in the app. If they don’t have the app, the notification will prompt them to download it. Once both parties have connected, that’s all you need to do — if someone has an update (e.g. new phone number, address, etc.), they can make the change right in the app and it will populate across the service and refresh all the instances, with no further action needed by any person.

Should you have a need to talk to someone, but don’t know whether they’re awake or not, Addappt has a cool local timezone feature that will show you the time where your contact is based on the address in the system. But if an address is not available and you know approximately where they are, you can type in the city, state, or country and get the time where they are.

Other features include:

  • Ability to share photos to your connected friends so that your profile will always show up when you call
  • Your birthday is shared with contacts
  • Once you’ve connected with someone, that contact information won’t go away — if they unfollow you, your address book will have the most recent information
The service doesn’t force you to populate any information in the app. The company tells us that it didn’t want to set any expectations and wants users to put whatever they wanted — if you wanted to share phone numbers, there’s a field for that. If you wanted to put in a Twitter account, then there’s a field for that. Users are in control with what they want to share, not the app.

Privacy reassured

One of the issues that was brought up when we spoke with Addappt centered around privacy. Information is being passed around throughout the servers relating to people’s friends, families, professional contacts, and others, so it’s understandable that people may be concerned. To that end, the company says that it is not storing address book information on its servers, nor will it spam any of your friends. It is adamant that it will never sell a user’s personal information to third-party services.

Bump-reimagined

The way that Addappt functions is what Bump probably could have evolved into (and still might). Instead of simply tapping phones to receive someone’s contact information, it probably could have been done by an email that connected the two, and then shared the contact data. The issue with Bump is that if the contact is outdated, the “bump” would need to take place again or the user would need to manually update it — something that could be pretty painful if there are multiple people.

While this is replacing your address book with a more technologically adept one, it’s important to know that your data is not being deleted or transferred over. As co-founder Mrinal Desai tells us, the information that is being added is duplicated over to both systems so no matter if you make an addition to your traditional address book, it will be carried over to Addappt, and vice-versa.

Having started this venture after leaving LinkedIn, Desai says that he’s always encountered this problem about keeping the address book updated. For him, he always saw it as the original social network because it was all about the people.

Launching today

Wait a second, how could this be launching today when it’s already in the iTunes app store? We asked Desai about this and he said that it was there to allow early testers access to the service rather than requiring them to provide the company their UDID numbers for their device. The group was made up of non-tech mainstream users (e.g. moms, construction industry professionals, HR practitioners, etc.) so making it easy to download and use was really important.

So today, the app is officially launching, but by invitation only. Desai says that it’s to help the service scale and the company will let in more users as the team feels the service can handle it. For those that are using the app, you can send invitations to anyone you want through Facebook, Twitter, SMS, or email. Those with iPhones can use it, and an Android version is still being contemplated.

The service is self-funded and there are plans to release in-app premium services later.

TNW readers can request an invitation to gain early access by mentioning “TNW” in their request.

iPhone app

Photo credit: Mario Tama/Getty Images

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