App to change the way you connect with your contacts

Humin's app allows you to add context, such as where and how you met, to your contacts.
Humin's app allows you to add context, such as where and how you met, to your contacts. Photo: Humin

This article first appeared on Mashable.

After months of hype, Humin, the free app that promised to completely rethink the traditional phone and contacts app, has finally rolled out to Apple's app store.

Humin combines contacts, voicemail and calling in one slick phone app. Rather than offering a standard contacts list, the app organizes individuals' information based on their relationship to you.

It also pulls in information from your email, calendar and social media accounts so it can help find connections from your networks — even if their information isn't saved in your address book.

The app first started rolling out to users in January as a private beta that included about 20,000 people from countries all over the world. From high school students to Fortune 100 executives to celebrities such as, every kind of user seemed to be getting in on the beta.

Humin CEO and cofounder Ankur Jain says these early users - he calls them "influencers" - were selected partly because they have enormous unwieldy contacts lists. Before Humin, these contacts were likely organised alphabetically with little to no context.

Providing these individuals with access to Humin's contextual search, which lets you find people with queries like "met last weekend" or "works at Google," helped the company fine tune the app's design.

"The most common feedback we've gotten is why hasn't this been done before," Jain said. "The idea itself is pretty intuitive, because it's what we naturally do all the time. It's just that technology has only now allowed us to solve this problem."

The free app is iPhone only for now, but the company is already looking beyond the Apple device. An Android app, which Jain says will be "even smarter," is in the works. He hints that Humin's contextual search may eventually find its way to wearables — and even cars.

"You can start to imagine how this search technology can start to apply itself to the operating systems of your cars and smartwatches," he says. "Take the idea of how you remember people the way you naturally do, and put them in the context of your daily life in the way you can with your phone, but on your cars and smartwatches."