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Plaxo 3.0: the only address book you need.

I've made no secret of the fact that I am a fan of Plaxo.  The ability to backup and replicate contacts and calendar information, combined with the ability to automatically update contacts with new information, make it a killer app.  I've been using it for a long time.

Last week I loaded their new beta — Plaxo 3.0.  Today is the unveiling.  Others have written much about it, so I won't bother with every detail.  However, for me, there are two new killer features:

  1. It synchronizes across many new data sources.  As of Friday I had one master address book and calendar, in Plaxo, which now feeds Outlook (and by extension my Blackberry), hotmail, and GMail.  While Plaxo can import LinkedIn contacts, it doesn't synch them back, which is too bad.  Nonetheless, I've now combined all my address books, deduped them, and synched them back.  That's a first.
  2. It now knows how to behave in an Exchange server environment.  Previously, if you installed Plaxo on more than one PC attached to an exchange server, you would have bizarre behaviour including multiple items replicated in the address books and contacts.  Now it knows about each and every PC, and ensures that updates happen correctly.

They've also become much more open, implementing SyncML, which means that any SyncML enabled address book or contact list should be easier to integrate with Plaxo.  Nice move! 

I haven't played with their slick new web UI much yet, primarily due to the same observations as Om Malik and Robert Scoble made — it's slow. Nor have I played with their new (and very nice looking) mobile app, since they only support US carriers.

Plaxo 3.0 is a great step forward. 

{ 8 comments… add one }

  • Frank June 25, 2007, 4:45 am

    Do they support the ideal of multiple contact lists (Personal, Work, Hobby, etc.)

    Frank

  • Alec June 25, 2007, 6:33 am

    You could have multiple address books for that, yes, Frank. Or, if you're an Outlook user (and perhaps other systems too) you can simply maintain one address book, and categorize the contacts. That's what I do.

  • Chris Weiss June 26, 2007, 9:11 am

    I've read many blogs about Plaxo deleting data – not properly managing duplicate records or fields (IE – if there's two "Home Email" entries, Plaxo will delete one of them). Have you seen any of this with 3.0?

  • Alec June 26, 2007, 4:28 pm

    I haven’t Chris. Pretty happy with it.

  • Chris Weiss June 28, 2007, 12:26 pm

    Alas, I'm running into data loss with the 3.0 version. I'm syncing Outlook on two PC's and Thunderbird. I'm not sure just where, but I am losing specific fields and entire contacts. I found the Thunderbird conduit to be particularly problematic, as near as I can tell, it can't translate Home and Work email fields between Plaxo and Thunderbird (although I'm losing more information than just those fields).

  • Johan Appelgren August 8, 2007, 6:21 am

    Huh, does Plaxo support SyncML? I thought they were only thinking about it, and have instead opted for brew and j2me solutions.

  • Alex N January 17, 2008, 2:15 am

    I have also experienced data loss. Random cards and fields are disappearing. Not enough so I notice right away, but then I look for a contact and it’s gone. I have my Mac Address Book backed up, but I’m not sure how to merge back old entries.

    I’m using Plaxo, Mac Address Book, and iPhone.

  • Edwin March 10, 2008, 2:33 am

    Plaxo does *not* support SyncML. That really sucks (at least for me). I'll get an subscription the moment they support SyncML.

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