Sync.ME, a third-party contacts app for iOS with over 8 million downloads, just rolled out an interesting feature that brings new functionality to Apple’s own Contacts app on iOS. As pictured above, the latest version of the Sync.ME app now adds a “Widgets” link within Apple’s Contacts app that provides quick access to social network profiles for contacts and a number of other handy functions for quickly sharing content.
They are called ‘Widgets’, but in reality they are essentially quick links to profiles on social networks and other functions of the Sync.ME app. The interesting aspect is the fact that you’ll no longer have to launch the Sync.ME app and can now access all of the “Widgets” functionality from directly within the native iOS Contacts app.
On top of links to the contact’s Facebook, Google+, and LinkedIn profiles, you’ll also find the ability to place and record calls over VoIP, quickly capture a business card using your camera, jot down a note, or add a reminder to your calendar for a specific contact. Other widgets will allow you to quickly share your location or a photo over iMessage or SMS, as well as post customized greeting cards directly to a contact’s timeline.
To accomplish this, the app appears to use the AddressBook API’s in a novel way that allows the app to automatically add a URL into a custom field for contact cards. That URL opens the “Widgets” section for any particular contact within Sync.ME, but the entire experience feels rather seamless. Here’s how to set it up:
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To setup the widgets in the Contacts app, you’ll have to install the Sync.ME app on your device and run through a quick setup process that pulls in pictures and updated contact info for contacts from Facebook, Google+, and LinkedIn. For contacts that don’t have any associated profiles on those social networks, the widgets link will still provide access to the other features mentioned above, like call recording.
The app is entirely free, but the company does have a program for developers that will advertise premium apps on the widgets screen from time to time.