Silentale, the searchable archive of all your email and Web-based communication, is now available as a mobile app for the iPhone and iPod Touch. Like the desktop version of the service, the new app provides a "360 degree view of your contacts," explains the company, including conversation history with email recipients, Facebook friends, Twitter, Google and Highrise contacts and LinkedIn connections.
Silentale for iPhone
When you view a contact in Silentale for iPhone, you see their contact details as you would within any Address Book type application, but you also see their social profiles and a complete history of your conversations - whether that included emails, Facebook messages or Twitter posts.
You can then email, reply or forward messages to a contact directly from within the app. You can send an SMS text message or call them, too. And you can view, download and forward the attachments in the messages Silentale finds. Essentially, it's a "CRM-lite" type application for the iPhone.
Silentale: Easy, Great...When it Works
In the past, we were surprised that Silentale didn't get more media coverage - the online service it offers is fairly robust... and free, at least to start. The basic version of the online service lets you import up to 3 accounts, is updated every 3 hours and imports 4 weeks of conversation history. For $49/year, you get 6 accounts, 2 years of history and hourly updates. For $99, you get 12 accounts, unlimited import and half-hour updates.
As to why Silentale seems to be somewhat ignored, our first guess was its name - "Silentale" doesn't really roll off the tongue nor does it give you an idea of what this service offers. Its competitor, "Gist," is branded better, in our opinion. Gist does a bit more, too - it provides dashboards for viewing people and companies, for example, and it incorporates RSS feeds, Web mentions, Google image results and more. It's not "CRM-lite," by any means, but its complexity may also be more than what some people have need of. For those that just want a searchable conversation archive, there's Silentale.
However, it's now starting to become clearer as to why Silentale isn't making waves the way Gist is - the service often seems to suffer from stability issues. During testing, we encountered errors and timeouts more than a few times, both with the iPhone app and when previously testing the online service. The iPhone application wouldn't allow us to authenticate upon first launch, for example. Although today's issues and the prior ones could just be chalked up to launch day jitters (and the problems were soon corrected), it's still a concern. We don't know if the company needs to throw more servers at the problem, acquire more bandwidth or just hire better network engineers, but they can't expect busy people to rely on an app that doesn't consistently work.
No matter, we suppose: it works now and works as advertised, albeit after a lengthy "import" process (and one that required closing, then relaunching the app). But given the prior issues and time-consuming set up, we can't 100% recommend this app until the company gets things straightened out. (And we do hope it does - Silentale is incredibly useful when functional!) All that being said, the app is free, so if you want to brave it, you can download a copy for yourself here on iTunes. Just don't say we didn't warn you if you hit bugs.