Xobni Plus 1.9.2 review
Not a huge update, but for daily Outlook users the Plus features easily justify the price
Review Date: 19 May 2010
Reviewed By: David Bayon
Price when reviewed: 1 PC, $29.95; each additional PC, $9.95
Features & Design
Value for Money
Ease of Use
We've long been fans of Xobni's Outlook-enhancing talents, but few of us in the office have felt inclined to shell out for the full Plus version. So, with version 1.9.2 now out in the wild, we thought we'd give it another chance to prove its worth.
The main addition is Outlook 2010 support (including the beta). It now works with both 32-bit and 64-bit flavours, and introduces an integrated ribbon search feature that continues to work when the Xobni sidebar is hidden.
But most of us are still using Outlooks 2007 and 2003, and there have been a few tweaks here, too. All users will be aware of the auto-suggested email addresses that appear as you type (teasingly greyed out in Xobni free), which are magically gathered not only from your own contacts but from within any email Xobni has seen. Now, should your list be clogged with out-of-date or unwanted addresses, a simple highlight and delete allows for spring cleaning; email an address again in the future and it will be re-added to the list.
Xobni still trawls Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter for updates and photos from contacts that you're linked with on those sites, and it can now pull in profile images from Twitter. And the main section of the sidebar remains as brilliantly time-saving as ever, collating previous conversations, exchanged files and – only in Plus – exchanged links and Calendar appointments.
All said, there's not a whole lot else for existing Plus owners in version 1.9.2, but for them this is a free update. Users of the free version, on the other hand, are still missing out on some powerful tools indeed. The advanced search function is hugely versatile and works with an unlimited number of Outlook PST files, while the Xobni Analytics suite remains invaluable as a tool to improve both your time-management and your dealings with clients.
Xobni claims to have improved compatibility with various security suites, and we had no issues during our testing. But the bigger downside to Xobni remains its system footprint. On our test PC, Outlook occupied a mere 55MB of RAM, which soared to a massive 185MB with Xobni enabled and the PST file fully indexed. Unless you like your email at a crawl, it's not one for netbooks or low-end laptops.
But if you have a reasonable amount of RAM, Xobni Plus offers a range of tools that can really make a difference to your daily productivity. And when a single licence costs only $29.95, with each further PC at less than $10, it's a no-brainer for anyone who relies on Outlook on a daily basis.
Author: David Bayon
It's a shame that 99% of my contacts have never heard of Facebook or Linked In, otherwise it might be useful :-D
By big_D on 20 May 2010
RedCritter for Outlook
If you like Xobni, then you will love RedCritter. We have a very small footprint and a very robust set of apps. Our free version has all of the functionality that our paid version has. Check us out RedCritter.com
By sealdave on 22 May 2010
Xobni was a nice idea that I never thought I needed until I installed it, then I after a month I realise was right, I didn't need it.
At home I know the people who email me (else it's junk mail). For work the way it wanted offline indexing (something like that) made my outlook profile grow to over 1GB in size not good for roaming profiles. Also the few occasions I wanted to find info there is something called Google.
May be good for sales or customer service type people?
By nicholbb1 on 23 May 2010
My Twitter feed in Xobni...
Love Xobni, but still can't find a solution for having a pane open in Outlook showing all of my Twitter feeds (i.e. the people I'm following). I can get Twitter updates from my feed delivered to Outlook, but in a separate folder in Inbox, and I'd like to see my email pane and a twitter pane side by side (but not mixed together). Any suggestions anyone?
By Naked_Ape on 27 May 2010
Product/Pricing Change Affecting Existing Customers
Looks like they have changed the way they price their products potentially disadvantaging their existing customers unless they pay for the new subscription based model.
Maybe PC Pro should do a follow up in light of this?
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