Summary:

Mozilla’s experimental Contacts add-on for Firefox, an in-browser contacts manager that can sync with contacts from other services, and which Imran described as an “Awesome Bar for People” when he wrote about at launch, has recently been updated with a host of useful improvements.

Mozilla Labs’ experimental Contacts add-on for Firefox, an in-browser contacts manager that can sync with contacts from other services, which Imran described as an “awesome bar for people,” was recently updated with a host of useful improvements.

Among them is support for importing contacts LinkedIn  and Plaxo, per-service data display (so you can see where the information about each contact has come from) and per-service refresh (if you update your Twitter contacts, for example, you can quickly update Contacts, too — auto-refresh is planned for a later release).

Additionally, a “person search” facility has been added to Contacts that can scour the web looking for publicly accessible information (such as email addresses, web site URLs, Flickr account, etc.) about your contacts. This feature is similar to Rapportive and MailBrowser, both useful Gmail plug-ins that I’ve written about previously, although with Contacts you have to press a “Search” button to initiate the search — it doesn’t happen automatically. As with Rapportive and MailBrowser, the effectiveness of this search is mixed — some contacts have plenty of publicly available information tied to their email addresses, some none at all. Here’s what Contacts found about me, for example:

Users with Contacts installed should have already been updated to the new version. If you haven’t tried it, it’s definitely worth downloading — if you spend most of your day working in various different web apps, having a universal contact manager available via your browser makes a lot of sense. It’s free, although you should note that as it’s still an experimental add-on there are no guarantees that it’s completely free of bugs.

Have you tried Contacts? Let us know what you think of it in the comments.

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