Blog Post

Handshake: “Beam” Contacts to Other iPhones

It’s mildly entertaining to me how we all seem to get excited about apps that bring functionality to our iPhones that has existed elsewhere for ages.

As an example, Shazam came to the iPhone to decipher music we didn’t know, by playing it into the microphone — Blackberry has had this capability for a while. When I run into one of these scenarios while showing off to iPhone-less friends, my argument is, “But it’s an iPhone! And now it does that too!!”

Handshake brings us the capability to easily send our own contact “card”, or that of others we already have entered into our iPhone, to other iPhones around us. (Does anyone remember beaming contacts between Palm Pilots?) If I can step onto my soapbox for just a moment, I feel as though this capability is something Apple somehow missed out on including in the firmware. Given the interaction of links to Google Maps (in email) which opens the Maps application, or phone numbers (in SMS or email) which will automatically dial the phone, the built-in ability to send contact information to others feels like a no brainer to me.

So thanks to Skorpiostech, and Handshake, I’ve regained the functionality my Palm Pilot gave me almost 10 years ago… While I feign annoyance at the situation, I really do like this application. It’s simple and elegant in functionality, and as such, fits right in with the iPhone (too bad it’s not native). Handshake comes in the flavors of free and premium. The former has ads at the top and bottom of the interface, while the latter ditches the ads, comes “karma-enhanced”, and costs $2.99 in the App Store.

Thanks Gruber!

10 Responses to “Handshake: “Beam” Contacts to Other iPhones”

  1. @Nick: Sure, as I said before — the devs are trying hard…! Apple on the other hand is not…! It’s not like they would have to re-invent the wheel — all I’d wish for is for them to simply implement existing standards…

  2. @MILE: Well at least Handshake helps on that topic ever so slightly, by providing an in-app “share” link to expedite the opportunity for the other iPhone-toting individual to have the same software.

    Yes, clearly a long shot, and standards would be ideal, but it’s at least a step toward making such things easier.

  3. @Josh: How big are the chances that the next person you run into and want to exchange contact information with owns an iPhone _and_ has the same app installed on their device…?! The odds of that make most of those apps almost completely uselesss…

  4. Sorry, but all those iPhone apps for exchanging contact information pretty much suck…! :(

    – They ONLY work with other iPhones and

    – ONLY if the other person has the exact same app on their iPhone

    The developers (who are trying their best) are no to blame though, it’s Apple’s fault…! Instead of implementing standard protocols for exchaning vCards via Bluetooth, they just ignore this (and many, many other) customer demand…!

    Even my old T68i could do it, my Treo 650 could to it, all Palms can do it, every cheapo cell phone can do it — they all can “beam” each other vCards and sometimes even other stuff…! Only the iPhone is a deserted island in this ocean of mobile devices…! :(

    (P.S. It may not seem that way, but I really love my iPhone nevertheless…! ;) I’m just so sick and tired of the many little, but annoiyng flaws it has and which Apple keeps ignoring from the very first day…)