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Introducing the Xobni Gadget Store. Kick your email up a notch with Evernote, Yammer, Salesforce, Chatter, Dropbox, JIRA, WebEx and more.

Xobni Gadget Storeby Josh Jacobson 

Today marks a major milestone for Xobni—and for our customers. You may already have been following the progress of our Xobni Gadget platform, available to developers to seamlessly integrate web-based services into the Xobni for Outlook experience. Having seen incredibly useful and time-saving gadgets created and beta-tested over the past few months, we’re now thrilled to announce the Xobni Gadget Store. Take advantage of direct access to a new world of productive services and applications from a wide range of industry-leading partners (press release).

Web-based document sharing, lead tracking, issue monitoring and editing, note-taking—your inbox is about to get a lot more powerful.  Imagine being able to integrate great services like these right into your Xobni experience (without leaving Outlook):

Now you can choose any of the Xobni Gadgets you want—or the whole batch if you like—for prices ranging from free to only $9.99/year (with 30 day free trial).

We’ve made it easy for you to add Gadgets to Xobni. Just click on over to the Xobni Gadget Store and take your pick of the gadgets available. Then make sure you’re on the latest and greatest version of Xobni for Outlook. That’s version 2.0.1 for Xobni Pro subscribers and free users (most of you), and an updated 1.9.6 for existing Xobni Plus users (release notes).

For enterprises, the Xobni Gadget Platform now makes it easy to create private gadgets based on your existing internal services to help employees become more productive and effective. Xobni Business Solutions customers can deploy their own customized gadgets via the Xobni Enterprise Admin Portal. You can find out more about these programs here.

Today, Xobni Gadgets are available for Xobni for Outlook.  Over the coming months, we’ll be looking at ways to widen the platform to Xobni for Gmail and Xobni mobile as well.

Customers we’ve talked to are pumped up about the new era of Xobni Gadgets, and we hope you are, too. It’s just one more way we can make your inbox the best it can possibly be.

Developers – interested in creating your own gadgets, or just kicking the tires of the platform? Join us on Monday, May 9th, for the Xobni Gadget Hack day (you can start coding now). Hacks will be judged by Michael Arrington and others. Register now for free – limited spots available.  

Xobni for BlackBerry – Major Update

by Rob Barrett (Mobile QA Lead)

Xobni for BlackBerry ended 2010 with a bang and received impressive awards and accolades both from customers and the press. Customer adoption, growth and usage were off the charts. With that came great feedback and recommendations on how to evolve the product for optimal efficiency and productivity, and that is what this release is all about. We have spent countless hours solving the pesky contact management woes.

Thanks to the great feedback from our users, we release Xobni for BlackBerry build 2.0.28. It includes significant user experience and feature updates and as well as some new feature additions from you, our loyal customers.

As always, you can get the latest build from: bb.xobni.comApp WorldMobihandHandangoGetjar and PocketGear (Note: some stores may take a day or so to reflect the update).

Below the list of features and improvements:

New Features/Functionality

  • Free users can now also enjoy the Universal Search functionality (w/ daily limits)
  • Edits in native BB address book now are updated in Xobni
  • A users account is temporarily locked after 5 failed login attempts (when user is logged out)
  • Added a “show password” checkbox on login screen to assist with small keyboard typing
  • Added low memory state manager, to detect when device is low on memory
  • Ability to restart a stopped contact scan due to server issues

UI Updates

  • Edit contact details improvements and refinements
  • Edit recipient screen improvements for composing emails and ability to set cc:, bcc:
  • Xobni Pro icon shown for Pro users in all screens
  • Improvements on forgot password dialog
  •  “Xobni Cloud” now used through app for updating Xobni Cloud
  • Added a loading spinner to the LinkedIn login page for OS 5.0 and higher

Search & Ranking Improvements

  • Search refinements for improved search recall and ranking
  • Improvement to ranking to avoid new contacts from showing up too high in ranking
  • Improvement on phone number parsing for 6.0 devices
  • Merging improvements on initial load
  • Ability to search for suffix titles (e,g: Dr., Mr., etc.)

Bug Fixes & Improvements

  • International character (UTF-8) fix when posting updates, for foreign characters support
  • Improvements and potential fix for email loss on app deletion/install
  • Fix to be able to add Xobni contacts to bcc line
  • Logout and login no longer prompts users to choose email accounts
  • Login screen retry and error handling improvements
  • Speed improvement for LinkedIn and Facebook profile rendering
  • Fix for pictures taken on touchscreen device to be incorrectly rotated
  • Only emails composed from Xobni, have Xobni signature appended (when on)
  • Fix for properly showing the date of a meeting in Xobni for recurring meetings
  • Loading spinner on facebook tab now detects if no profile match was found
  • Fix for handling snooze correctly during initial contact loading & later resume loading
  • Expanding the network section now selects the 1st member in the network
  • Various improvements and fixes

To upgrade to the latest version, simply go to http://bb.xobni.com from your BlackBerry or the store from which you’ve downloaded/purchased our app.

We’d like to thank all of our BlackBerry users for all their feedback, input and suggestions. It has been critical to help us further improve our app, and we’re very grateful!

Enjoy!

The Xobni Mobile Team

Screamin’ Deal on Xobni Pro

Xobni Pro doesn’t go on sale often, so today is your lucky day! AppSumo, a site that offers great deals on web services, is selling Xobni Pro for 1 year for $25 dollars.  For the price of 2 movie tickets (and popcorn, if you want to get exact), you can get all your contacts and email in order.  After all, Spring has sprung, and Xobni can help Spring clean your inbox.  Click here to learn more.

Xobni Pro automatically creates contacts for anyone you’ve ever email, called or SMS’d and makes them instantly searchable.  Every person, phone number, email and file will be available to you in Outlook or on your BlackBerry.  Whenever you need them!

Time is running out – Don’t miss your chance. Buy Xobni Pro now on discount via AppSumo.

Calling all Developers…

SAVE THE DATE 

May 9th (day before Google I/O) – 2 pm – 6 pm, SOMA, SF (two blocks from Google I/O)

Join Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr and Yelp and give your company a prime spot in the inbox, where users spend 30%+ per day.  We’re making it easy for developers to build an Open Social gadget that will run in Outlook and Google Apps.  That’s right, build once, deploy twice.

Join the fun, build your gadget and drive more engagement and visibility with your brand.  And Bonus: 10 hacks will be selected to present at the event and judged by our celebrity guests: Michael Arrington, David Lee and Joseph Smarr.  Prizes are TBD, but they’ll be good.  😉

Space is limited.  RSVP here – We’ll send the SDK to registered developers in advance of the event so you can maximize your time at the mini hack.

Schedule

2pm – 5 pm – mini hack, beer, pizza, jams, good peeps

5 pm – showcase of hacks; judges Michael Arrington, David Lee and Joseph Smarr

More details coming soon to registered developers.

Whoa Nelly!

Uh… we knew there was interest in Xobni for Gmail, Android and iPhone, but we had no idea that we’d hit over 30K requests in a matter of hours.  Thanks to our loyal alpha testers, community/forum friends, current users, patient fans and blogger/media friends, word of our coming products got out quick.

We’re sending out the invites just as fast as we can and are stoked to have so many ready and willing testers to help us get the product ready for prime time.

Here’s to you!

Your Xobni friends.

Xobni 2.0, Xobni Pro and Xobni Cloud

by Jeff Bonforte

Today Xobni provides personal productivity solutions to over 6M people around the world.  With the release of Xobni 2.0, we continue to deliver our vision of being the ultimate in personal relationship management.  I’d like to elaborate on the previous post by Michael that introduced some of what is to come from Xobni.  To help illustrate the power of a connected Xobni, I thought I’d provide a little context.  So, let’s take a look back…

2008
May: Xobni for Outlook v1 – Public Beta on May 5, 2008

2009
July: Xobni Plus launched

2010
Jan: Xobni for Enterprise
Mar: Xobni for BlackBerry
Mar: Xobni One
Jun: Xobni for Outlook 2010 (32-bit and 64-bit)

2011 (just the first half!)
Jan: Xobni for BlackBerry 2.0
Mar: Xobni for Outlook 2.0
Mar: Xobni Cloud
Mar: Xobni Pro
Q2: Unannounced Product for business users
Q2: Xobni for Gmail
Q2: Xobni for iPhone
Q2: Xobni for Android

In fact, in 2011 we will ship more new products than in the last three years, combined. Here’s why: the Xobni Cloud.  We’ll go into our new cloud platform a bit more below, but first, let me tell you about the new Xobni 2.0 and Xobni Pro. Together, they allow you to seamlessly manage thousands of relationships and allow us to provide you with powerful tools for your inbox and smartphone.

Xobni 2.0 for Outlook and BlackBerry (both free)
Xobni for Outlook v2.0 includes hundreds of updates, improvements and new features from our v1 product. It sports a fancy new grey skin, which makes Xobni look a bit more at home in Outlook. It includeslight-weight access to our new Spam Rescue feature, which looks through the junk folder for any emails that may have been incorrectly quarantined by Outlook. It also includes a number of key speed and stability enhancements. Xobni for Outlook v2.0 is available now for free. You can learn more and download it here.

Xobni for BlackBerry v2.0 is the free version of our award-winning automatic address book and lightning fast search app for your BlackBerry.

Xobni Pro
We have wiped out all the complexity of upgrading to our premium products with one unified premium level – Xobni Pro. With one low monthly or annual fee, you have personal access to as many of our Pro products as you need – the list of platforms Xobni supports will grow rapidly this year. As a Xobni Pro subscriber, you can run the Pro version of our Outlook product on multiple machines at no additional charge. Same is true for our BlackBerry app. In fact, as new versions of Xobni come out for other smartphones and inboxes, you get all the Pro versions at no additional cost.

Xobni Pro for Outlook is the premium version of our Outlook product, and it is perfect for both email power users and for those for whom managing relationships is their business. It includes a number of great upgrades to the free version, including the ability to export a Xobni Contact to your Outlook address book. It also offers unlimited access to our new Spam Rescue feature, which looks each day for incorrectly junked emails and automatically rescues them. Xobni Pro includes our Xobni Rank-powered AutoSuggest feature (favorite feature by users), access to shared events with a contact, and allows search in unlimited PSTs. And our Pro product sports a beautiful new blue skin, so it looks like Outlook’s better-looking cousin.

Xobni Pro for BlackBerry is the premium version of the BlackBerry product: it includes advanced search, customization, unlimited access to our magic autosuggest in your email compose window, and the ability to export Xobni contacts to the BlackBerry address book.

Xobni Cloud – The new brains in the relationship
The key to Xobni Pro and the many new products and platforms you will see from us in 2011 is Xobni Cloud (replacing Xobni One). It is the most fundamental step forward for the company since it started five years ago. The Xobni Cloud is our new highly secure, scalable and smart platform, and it delivers three key elements to our products: Smarter. Faster. Connected.

The Xobni Cloud is easily the smartest product we’ve ever released, and because it is in the cloud, it gets smarter daily.  It has new intelligent algorithms on merging contacts, which is really important as you link Xobni to multiple inboxes and platforms.

The Xobni Cloud reduces the work done by many features and products, making them faster, more reliable and less resource intensive. It also allows our product team to deliver new products and features to you faster than ever and enables us to launch products in places we couldn’t go before, like Gmail, iPhone, Android and more. Accessing the power of Xobni in more places has been the single biggest request from customers over the past eighteen months.

Xobni Cloud connects you to your relationships. Your life and your relationships aren’t siloed into one email account or one device. With Xobni Cloud and Xobni Pro, the people you interact with can span multiple inboxes, devices, jobs and even years. It is incredibly powerful, and it only gets more powerful over time.

If you are ready to get Xobni Pro, sign up here.  Want to test the waters or don’t need all the power of Pro? Download Xobni’s full suite of free products.

I’ve answered some of the frequent questions I receive from our current customers below. If you have more, we have a few FAQs online. And, of course, you are welcome to visit our community support or contact our fast, friendly and helpful support team.

Jeff Bonforte
CEO, Xobni

Some Frequently Asked Questions
If I am happy with Xobni Plus now, can I just stay put?
Yes. We will continue to provide support for our Plus and Free users on v1.x releases of Xobni. Your Plus license offers “perpetual” access to those features on our v1.x releases.

Why the move to subscription vs. version licensing?
There are four reasons why we moved from a perpetual license model to a subscription model: release new features and platforms faster, simplify our premium offerings, make the system smarter, and allow it all to work together. In the old model, we had to hold back big improvements and features for the next big release, so we could deliver the value that warranted a new version license fee. Moving forward, we want to release great new features when they’re ready, and we want to make sure all our customers are using the latest and greatest from Xobni. With version licensing, many users stay behind causing significant development and support difficulty. As evidence of the long term complexity of this, consider Microsoft Office. There are four major versions in use today: pre-2003, 2003, 2007 and 2010. So each version has to get updates and QA against each other. Backwards compatibility becomes very complex, etc. About 50% of all Office users are still on Office 2003 or earlier!

We knew that 2011 was our year to expand Xobni to more platforms – and the new model sets us up to manage this much more elegantly. Plain and simple: for $4.99/mo (when you buy annual subscription), you get the Pro versions of all of our products. Today this includes premium versions of Outlook and BlackBerry, and soon much, much more. Considering over 80% of our customers have a smartphone and over 90% have at least two email accounts, this is a simpler path for users and helps us to deliver more value, quicker.

Is the new Xobni Cloud secure?
We have very demanding customers, including many government agencies like NASA and the US Army…not to mention over 90% of the Fortune 500. We have a lot of scrutiny on our security and system integrity. We take your privacy seriously. If you’d prefer, you can go Pro and opt out of us storing any data of yours in the cloud (though that kills the working across products and backup benefit). You can learn more here.

To view more FAQs, click here.

Xobni for Gmail, Android & iPhone coming soon! – Testers wanted.

Xobni for GMail BETA, Android ALPHA & iPhone ALPHA

by Michael Albers

Not a day goes by at Xobni, without hearing “When will Xobni work on Gmail, Android or iPhone?”.  This is truly the #1 request from Xobni users, and we’ve been listening.

Last week, we deployed a new service called Xobni Pro. This service includes the robust “Xobni Cloud” architecture, which enables us to develop new products faster. More importantly, it connects Xobni’s relationship management service across multiple platforms and devices.

Previously, Xobni users could only unite their Xobni Contacts and rich profiles across Outlook and BlackBerry. Now, with the Xobni Cloud, we can extend this further. The Xobni Cloud is the foundation that will enable us to support new products and platforms going forward.

Today we’re announcing that Xobni is coming to Gmail, Android and iPhone.

Xobni for Gmail BETA – The Xobni sidebar comes to Gmail! Sign up for the Gmail BETA.

  • Put a face and a name to every email
  • Lightning-fast contact search
  • See relationship history and mutual contacts
  • Enriched contact info from Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn

Xobni for Android & iPhone ALPHA – The Xobni app on your Android and iPhone providing quick access to your Xobni contacts and information.  Sign up for the Android ALPHA or sign up for the iPhone ALPHA.

  • Bring your Xobni automatic address book to your Smartphone
  • Access Xobni Contacts from Gmail, Outlook, BlackBerry
  • See recent emails and mutual contacts
  • Lightning-fast contact search

Testers Wanted

Over the past few months, we have been in Private Alpha mode with Xobni for Gmail with some of the most amazing Alpha testers in the world! This loyal team of testers has been invaluable: diligently identifying bugs, suggesting new features, and providing lots of encouragement along the way during our ALPHA. Thanks so much to each of you for your emails and posts in the forums—your participation makes a difference!

So, if you’re one of those really early adopters, and like to get an early peek at these products, or if you’re one of the thousands that has written us asking for Xobni in Gmail, iPhone and Android—we’d love to have you on our Alpha (or Beta) tester team. Sign up on the respective pages for Gmail BETAAndroid ALPHA and iPhone ALPHA products.  We’ll be letting users in on a first come, first served basis. All  feedback, thoughts and ideas are welcomed.

You might be wondering: will there be a Free and Pro version of these products? The answer is: Yes! We aren’t sharing all those details yet, but we will in time.

We hope you’re as excited as we are, and we are looking forward to developing these products with you by our side.

Thanks!

The Xobni Product Team

Thank you! Over 100k downloads in 2 weeks

by Michael Albers

When we launched the free version of Xobni for BlackBerry a couple of weeks ago, we were excited to offer our free “Super Address Book” to more new users, and get more people excited about what the free and paid versions of Xobni for BlackBerry have to offer.

Well, it sure seemed to have worked, in just two weeks, we’ve seen over 100K downloads of Xobni for BlackBerry! You can read more about this in the press release below.

This illustrates the clear need for an automatic address book that goes beyond simple contact details. Download Xobni for BlackBerry free today from Xobni, AppWorld, Mobihand or Handango and give it a whirl.  We always love hearing feedback, so please send along via the “Contact Xobni” link in the menu of the app.

XOBNI ANNOUNCES FREE APP FOR BLACKBERRY

Over 100K Downloads of Xobni for BlackBerry Since Free Launch

San Francisco – February 1, 2011 – Xobni, the service that helps people search and manage their contacts and communication across email and mobile devices, announced that they recently released a free version of their award-winning application for BlackBerry, and has seen over 100K downloads of their application since the free app launch in January.

Xobni for BlackBerry helps users effortlessly manage and build their relationships with an automatic address book.  And because these Xobni Contacts are stored in the cloud, they are backed up and available across devices. Jessica Dolcourt from CNET described it best when she wrote that Xobni’s premium app “dramatically expands your mobile address book by ingeniously scanning all incoming and outgoing e-mail for contacts and phone numbers it can capture. It builds a profile for every e-mail it detects, regardless of whether you’ve typed it yourself, or if it’s already in your address book.”  In addition to automatically creating an address book with contact information, Xobni also completes the profile with photos, contact info, recent emails, calls, texts and updates from LinkedIn and Facebook.

In celebration of the holidays, Xobni began a promotion in December for their premium product (regularly priced for $9.99, on sale for $1.99) which created much excitement and increased purchases. The downloads grew even more last week after the free version was officially made available in BlackBerry App World and promoted in the carousel. The significant downloads of the product in such a short period of time illustrates the clear need for an automatic address book that goes beyond simple contact details.

CrackBerry.com, the leading blog dedicated to covering all things BlackBerry, gave Xobni for BlackBerry an Editor’s Choice award in 2010, and revealed that 6 of their 9 bloggers ranked Xobni as one of their top 3 apps.  “This application is one you don’t have to think about- it creates contact entries for you,” wrote Ryan Blundell, blogger for CrackBerry. “With contact ranking and BlackBerry integration it makes for one powerful contact management tool.”

The free and premium apps for Xobni can be downloaded in BlackBerry App World, GetJar, Handango, MobiHand, PocketGear and at Xobni.com.

Bla1ze, another CrackBerry blogger continues, “Give it a go.  You’ll see why most of the CrackBerry staff swear by it over the default address book.”

Enjoy!

We Heart our Alpha Testers

So… We’re in alpha testing mode of a *super secret* product we expect to roll out in the coming weeks, and in addition to getting invaluable feedback from testers as they brave the new frontier of our products, we’re reminded of how great they are.  Case in point: Aaron.

Aaron has been a great sport in helping us identify some bugs in our most recent alpha product – and been very communicative about what is working for him, and what’s not working. We’ve already learned a lot from his experience and opinion, which to us, makes him a perfect alpha tester.  But there’s more!

In between coding and designing, we took the time to open a mystery package.  In it we found 5 of some of the coolest watches we’ve seen in a while – Modify Watches (Aaron’s company). The watches were a thank you for all the hard work the Xobni team is putting in to creating great products, which was a wonderful recognition of what we try to achieve!  After each snatching up our favorite color like a game of Jacks, cooler minds prevailed and we systematically handed out the faces and straps (they are interchangeable!) based on preferences (notice gender norms weren’t considered).

So now, we feel supercharged with our new time pieces.  Thanks, Modify Watches – we’re stoked to have such great users to help us improve on current products and shape future ones.

If you’re interested in getting on our testers list (for alpha and beta testing), feel free to email xobnialpha@xobni.com.  No gifts required.  😉

Xobni for BlackBerry Major Update + Free Version!

After a fantastic award-winning year (“2010 CrackBerry Editor’s Choice Award Winner” and “TheBerryFix.com 2010 Readers Choice Award – 2nd place“), Xobni has been celebrating the Holiday season by offering Xobni for BlackBerry at the reduced price of $1.99.

In addition to this promo, we’re also releasing a FREE version of Xobni for BlackBerry available for download today by any user that would like to give us a try before upgrading to the full version (Xobni for BlackBerry Pro). Upgrading to Pro can be done in the app and all the features will automatically activate after upgrading.

But the bigger gift (in our opinion) is our next major upgrade – version 2.0.11 – which includes the following features:

New Functionality:

  • Universal Search – Universal Search integration for OS 6.x devices, Xobni results will show up in your native BlackBerry search! (Pro only)
  • Contact Sharing – Share full contact details, emails/phone numbers via email or SMS (OS 6.x). Xobni users will see a notification dialog in Xobni.
  • Export To Adress Book – Now users can export contact details from Xobni to the native BlackBerry Address Book (Pro only).
  • Search by Company/Title – Leveraging the social and Outlook contact details from Xobni, search for Company or Title (Pro only).
  • Free Version! – Xobni for BlackBerry can now be downloaded for free, which will include Xobni Pro upgrades with a few feature limitations (up to 3 compose screen lookups per day).

Other Application updates/improvements:

  • Phone number extraction updates and improvements
  • Meetings will show a 2 week past/forward timeframe for meetings
  • Ability to delete contacts via the hidden contacts view under options
  • Pro users will see a “Xobni Pro” icon
  • Activation menu item was added to activate from home screen
  • Search enhancements and improvements
  • Updated contact support and report feedback section
  • Selecting phone call or SMS log shows a details dialog
  • Email and phone icons have been updated
  • Stability and performance improvements

To upgrade to the latest version, simply go to http://bb.xobni.com from your BlackBerry.

We’d like to thank all of our BlackBerry users for a wonderful 2010 – their feedback, input and suggestions have helped us further improve our application, and we’re very grateful!  And we wish everyone a happy 2.0.11. 🙂

Enjoy!

The Xobni Mobile Team


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About Xobni

Xobni’s contact management products offer lightning fast email search and organization of your inbox, as well as an innovative and comprehensive address book for the mobile device.

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