BusyContacts is the replacement contacts app you've been waiting for | Cult of Mac

BusyContacts is the replacement contacts app you’ve been waiting for


BusyContacts is the best Contacts app replacement we've seen. Photo: BusyContacts
BusyContacts is the best Contacts app replacement we've seen. Photo: BusyContacts

Apple’s Contacts app is the worst. It’s slow, it has a hard time working with services like Google or Exchange, and it just plain doesn’t connect with Calendar. Even though it integrates into all our other apps, most of us would be super-happy to replace it.

BusyContacts, a new app from the folks behind BusyCalendar, is that replacement app, whether you’re an average consumer, a busy office manager or an entrepreneur looking to wrangle your contacts and busy schedule.

“Many people are frustrated with the shortcomings of the built-in OS X Calendar and Contacts,” said John Chaffee, president and co-founder of BusyCal, “which are very basic and don’t work well when syncing with non-iCloud services.”

BusyContacts (and BusyCal) are powerful alternatives to these built-in apps, giving users greater control and flexibility along with better compatibility with Google and Exchange, while still playing nice with iCloud.

We are focused solely on Mac because we love the platform.

BusyContacts is a $50 Mac-only app that lets you view your contacts how you like, either in a single column with a cardlike display below or a multi-column view like Apple’s Contacts app. You can tag your contacts, assigning multiple tags to any contact, allowing you to filter results later for a much easier time finding what you need. BusyContacts integrates with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and iCloud so you can continue living in the modern world.

And, if you use BusyCal, a slick calendar replacement app, you can link contacts to events and to-do items, which lets small offices create an entire customer relationship management (CRM) solution with these two apps.

“We have plenty of average consumers who just couldn’t put up with the built-in app limitations anymore — small businesses and families that need to share calendars and contacts with each other, and entrepreneurs who have busy schedules and lots of relationships to manage,” said the Seattle-based Chaffee.

BusyContacts also syncs with iCloud, Google, Exchange and any other CardDAV servers. It’s a replacement app that doesn’t make you re-input all your stuff — how great is that?

Photo: John Chaffee/LinkedIn
Photo: John Chaffee/LinkedIn
Even better, you can share your address books with other BusyContact users, granting them different levels of access to your data via Exchange, Fruux, Kerio or LAN-connected servers that support CardDAV sharing.

All that and it’s Mac-only, which should make all the Apple fans in the room cheer.

“We are focused solely on Mac because we love the platform and have been developing for it for over 25 years,” Chaffee told Cult of Mac. “In 1991 we released Now Up-to-Date, a multi-user calendar for Mac System 7. So we’ve been focusing on this particular market segment for a very long time and have great expertise in it.”

The team doesn’t plan on releasing an iOS version of the app, though the data from BusyContacts and BusyCal do sync with the built-in Calendar and Contacts apps on OS X (or various other services like Google), which then will connect with the iOS versions.

“We are a small company and don’t want to bite off more than we can chew,” said Chaffee. “Maintaining our Mac apps keeps us plenty busy. And to be frank, it’s really hard to earn a living building iOS apps that cost 99 cents.”

Bottom line, the BusyContacts app is faster, easier to use and more connected than the Contacts app that comes on your Mac. If you’re a busy person, and need a better way to sync your contacts from all the social networking and contacts servers you deal with every day, or need a full-on CRM solution for your business, BusyContacts is a great place to start.

You can download a copy of BusyContacts for $49.99 either at the BusyCal website or on the Mac App Store, which will net you updates as they go.


Daily round-ups or a weekly refresher, straight from Cult of Mac to your inbox.

  • The Weekender

    The week's best Apple news, reviews and how-tos from Cult of Mac, every Saturday morning. Our readers say: "Thank you guys for always posting cool stuff" -- Vaughn Nevins. "Very informative" -- Kenly Xavier.