What It Is
What It Does
Visual contact manger that merges all your social networking accounts.
Where to Buy It
What It Costs
The classic axiom about getting ahead is never truer than in the theater: It’s not what you know, it’s who you know. But if sites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn have made it easier than ever to know and follow more people than ever, it’s made keeping track of all your friends, fans, and contacts in the business time-consuming and even frustrating. This is the problem the free iPhone app Brewster aims to solve.
Once you set it up, it gathers together all the people with whom you associate on the aforementioned services—plus Gmail, Foursquare, and your iPhone address book—in a single place, merges duplicates, and automatically generates lists (such as by geographic location, or those you haven’t talked to in a while) to keep you in touch and organized. (You can, of course, make your own lists as well.)
Brewster then presents its accumulated information to you with a visually appealing grid-based interface that uses large photos of everyone so there’s never any question who’s who. Tap on individual people to see everything Brewster knows about them, from phone numbers and e-mail addresses to their social networks (along with the interests they’ve listed there, mutual friends, and so on) and quite a bit more. You can call, text, or write them from here, as well.
If you’re not sure whom to connect with, Brewster has you covered there, too. You can browse through everyone you’re following or just who you interact with most often; look at the “updates” section to find the people who are most relevant right now, either because you recently added them, it’s their birthday, they’re being mentioned frequently, and so on; or search. That last choice is fairly powerful, as it draws from the app’s analysis of your contacts to suggest terms you may want to use, although, naturally, you can also type in new ones of your own. Wondering who’s in your general area? Turn on location services to see all your friends nearby.
There is a little bit of bad news. If you don’t have a Facebook or Twitter account (or you do, and don’t want to link it to Brewster), you’re out luck—the app requires access to at least one of those (plus your iPhone contacts). And only the Gmail integration sports multiple accounts, so if you use several on Facebook or Twitter, you’ll have to choose just one. These restrictions mean Brewster won’t work for those who run the various aspects of their career and life through a complex collection of accounts—as many actors by necessity do. But for everyone else, this is a feature-rich, attractive, and headache-free method of managing your vital online presence.