Yahoo's pre-fireworks news: We're buying Xobni

Yahoo can't seem to go one week without adding another startup to the portfolio.

Just before everyone takes off for Independence Day, the rejuvenated technology giant is making moves to acquire Xobni, a self-described "smart address book."

With products for Microsoft Outlook and Gmail, Xobni (or "inbox" spelled backwards) developed a platform that essentially aggregated everyone you have possibly contacted (whether it's via email, text message, phone call, etc.) and tried to unify and organize that data to provide more comprehensive contact files. Those files were also populated with updates from Facebook and Twitter. … Read more

Yahoo reportedly eyeing two more acquisitions

Yahoo may be looking to continue its spending spree with the acquisitions of a couple of app makers.

Yahoo has reportedly offered to pay $30 million to $40 million to buy Xobni, AllThingsD reported Monday, citing "numerous sources" close to the company.

Xobni, which is "inbox" spelled backwards, offers desktop and mobile apps that can automatically create an address book based on your e-mails. As such, Yahoo may be eyeing the Xobni as a natural fit for its own online mail service.

And there's a common thread between the two companies, AllThingsD noted. Xobni's … Read more

Make your contact lists smarter on iPhone

How many contact lists do you have? A new iPhone app from Xobni unifies your contact lists into one app (already available for Android), helping you quickly find contact information from a number of sources.

Smartr Contacts for iPhone (Free) unifies your contacts by scanning your iPhone contact list and e-mail contacts, then grabbing information from social sites like Facebook and Twitter, to merge all the available data into a searchable supercharged contact list.

You start by adding your Gmail account, then social sites like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Once connected, Smartr Contacts goes to work tying your contact data … Read more

Xobni introduces Smartr contact management for Gmail and Android

Xobni, maker of popular contact management tools for Outlook and BlackBerry, has today announced a new sub-brand along with two new products ready for public beta. Smartr Inbox for Gmail and Smartr Contacts for Android--both previously branded as Xobni products during their private beta stage--now bring Xobni's contact management powers to Google's e-mail platform.

Smartr Inbox for Gmail is a browser extension that adds a useful sidebar to your Gmail interface. With it, you can easily pull up any contact you've ever communicated with, along with details of your e-mail relationship, history, and even common contacts between … Read more

Xobni Gadget Store offers add-ons for your add-on

Xobni, the popular and highly rated plugin for Microsoft Outlook has today announced the Xobni Gadget Platform and Store, which offers apps that add on to your add-on. With close to 20 big-name partners, including Dropbox, Evernote, Google Translate, Salesforce, LinkedIn, and so on, Xobni hopes to boost your productivity by souping up your Outlook inbox to yet another level.

To give you an idea of some of the platform's possibilities, the Evernote gadget puts the popular note-taking service's functionality into the Xobni sidebar. With it, you can view and take personal notes on a contact right from … Read more

Postagram sends postcards from your iPhone

Xobni co-founder Matt Brezina is launching a fun and clever product today to let iPhone users send real, physical postcards directly from your iPhone (or from the Web). Postagram is the app. Sincerely is the new company he started to create it.

Postagram uses the Instagram API. It requires that users have an Instagram login and the app installed on their phone. But from there, it looks like a quick procedure to select a photo from your Instagram library, put a message of up to 140 characters on it, address it (unfortunately the app can't access your phone's address book directly), and have it sent out as a postcard through the mail.

The postcard itself has a clever twist: The Instagram-styled square photo can be popped out of the postcard that carries it. Unlike traditional postcards, the image doesn't take up the whole front surface. (The SMS-length message and the photo are on the front; I haven't seen one yet so I don't know what's on the back, aside from the address.)

It costs 99 cents to send a Postagram, payable via credit card since Apple won't let companies sell physical goods through its App Store payment system. That's a completely reasonable fee for taking the cheapest of social gestures--sending a photo to someone electronically--and making it more real and valuable. … Read more

Xobni for Gmail enters private beta; Android, iPhone next

Xobni is offering access to the first 100 CNET users who want to try out Xobni for Gmail. Sign up here, using the code XOBNI-CNET100. Once codes run out, you can still add your name for future access.

It's been a while since we've heard from Xobni, the company best known for its Outlook organizer and later, its BlackBerry e-mail add-on. Today, it pops into focus once more, with a new product: an e-mail extension for your Gmail account.

Called Xobni for Gmail, the free, limited private beta is an add-on for Firefox and Chrome that promises to go deeper than Google to bring context to the content of your Gmail account.

With Outlook and BlackBerry, Xobni's value proposition makes perfect sense--search was lacking, and Xobni's ability to pull together names, job titles, phone numbers, Facebook photos, attachments, and conversations surrounding any e-mail address to enter your inbox offers tangible benefits.

But Gmail already offers speedy search and threaded conversations. What does Xobni bring to the table?

More of the same with its organized sidebar capable of gathering supporting contact details taken from the contact's social networking profiles like Facebook and Linked In, as well as more-detailed contact information, and interesting stats about your social network--for instance, how often you speak electronically, and other people you speak with. Clicking a number can launch a Skype call, but Xobni doesn't currently connect with Google Voice.

Business users of corporate Google Accounts will also be able to use Xobni to aggregate contact details. In fact, you can link multiple Gmail accounts if you use Google's e-mail client for personal and work-related messaging.… Read more

Survey: E-mail eats up your time off

The 9-to-5 workday is dead. And so are vacations, sick days, and weekend relaxation, according to a new study from Outlook add-in maker Xobni.

According to the company, which in conjunction with Harris Interactive surveyed 2,200 American and British adult workers in August, 72 percent of Americans and 68 percent of Britons check e-mail outside of regular business hours. On sick days, 42 percent of Americans check their e-mail, compared with 25.8 percent of British workers.

Xobni also found that there is a gender divide when it comes to e-mail--that 65 percent of men surveyed check their e-mail … Read more

Xobni-in-a-box: Retro brick-and-mortar sales for this Outlook add-on

It's funny to think of the Xobni in-box tool in a box, but that's exactly what is about to happen; as soon as Wednesday, in fact.

A packaged version of Xobni is a new move for the product, traditionally a downloadable Windows add-on for Microsoft Outlook that can quickly index and search the contents of your in-box.

Having an Internet start-up gunning for retail store sales is interesting from a business perspective for two reasons. The first is clearly outreach; Xobni is striving to make its brand known to the same customer base who will buy Microsoft Office 2010Read more

5 time-saving Outlook add-ons

Your Microsoft Outlook 2007 in-box is one of those apps that's underappreciated and easily overlooked, yet for business professionals and home users alike, it often bears the brunt of most e-mail exchange.

It's time to give Outlook--and yourself--a hand with some free, and free-to-try, add-ons that could very well smooth out your workflow. We've rounded up five time-saving Outlook add-ons for you to take on a spin. Just don't get too add-on-happy, since, as with browser extensions, a surplus of running Outlook extras can drag down the pace.