Gwabbit for BlackBerry: A great timesaving tool

Ideal for BlackBerry-toting business professionals, Gwabbit can automatically create a new address book entry and import details from an e-mail's signature block, including the contact's phone number, e-mail address, company, and title.

Gwabbit is a Microsoft Outlook add-on, and now a BlackBerry application, that helps business professionals who get the names, numbers, and e-mail addresses from a contact's e-mail into their address book without all the tedious typing.

Gwabbit on BlackBerry

Gwabbit works its trade by automatically searching the signature block at the end of an e-mail and comparing that to the entries in your Outlook or BlackBerry address book. If there are discrepancies or omissions between the two, Gwabbit will launch and ask if you'd like to create a new address book entry or overwrite an existing one. Gwabbit's edge over Outlook and BlackBerry's native contact management systems is its proficiency in almost instantly grabbing e-mail, phone numbers, and title to create more information-rich entries than either technology's contact-builder does alone.

While a message from AVG Antivirus attached to the bottom of each e-mail threw Gwabbit off its groove in my Outlook tests, the BlackBerry implementation worked smoothly and effectively. Its value on a mobile phone is also greater. Typing is more time-consuming on a miniaturized keyboard, and adding an e-mail contact from the BlackBerry only populates the sender's name and e-mail address, even if the title, phone numbers, company name, and address are present in the e-mail. If you haven't memorized numbers, you would also need to switch back and forth between the e-mail message and the address book to fill in more information. Gwabbit does it all within a few seconds.

The most important parameter is that the presence of a phone number in the e-mail message triggers Gwabbit's BlackBerry app. Otherwise, Gwabbit won't initiate. You can manually select Gwabbit from the BlackBerry context menu if it misses a beat, but the phone number requirement underscores the app's target audience of business professionals reading and responding to their corporate e-mail. While most casual users probably won't receive enough personal e-mail girded with phone numbers in a signature block, Gwabbit is an ideal productivity score for those who who regularly use their phone as a mobile computer during business hours.

Gwabbit for BlackBerry is compatible with BlackBerry phones running version 4.2 of the operating system or higher. It costs $9.95 for a yearlong subscription, though a 14-day and 20-use trial lets you give it a spin before committing.

About Jessica Dolcourt

Jessica Dolcourt reviews smartphones and cell phones, covers handset news, and pens the monthly column Smartphones Unlocked. A senior editor, she started at CNET in 2006 and spent four years reviewing mobile and desktop software before taking on devices.