CloID is a new iOS app from Spanish developer De Cloudders Communications. It’s available now as a free download from the App Store.
CloID’s concept is simple. It allows users to create a variety of different CloID names and attach different sets of contact information to them. These names can then easily be passed out to other CloID users as a form of “virtual business card,” rather than sending detailed contact information. A CloID is a simple Twitter-style username (though with an “@” sign at the end rather than the beginning) to which a variety of personal information may be attached, including phone numbers, email address, social networking information, websites, postal addresses, organizations, birthdays and other personal information, which can have custom labels applied.
Exchanging CloIDs is a simple matter of giving another person the username with the information you would like to share attached. CloIDs may be either public or private; public CloIDs allow users to share information freely, while private CloIDs require that the recipient of a request approve the exchange of information. When sending a request for a private CloID, the sender has the opportunity to add a message to their request as well as attaching a CloID of their own.
CloID is a nice idea that seems to work pretty well, but it’s also a somewhat redundant one. While the idea of handing out a single ID with a variety of information attached to it is a sound one, the fact is that it is already very simple to exchange contact information with other people using vCards sent via email or message, and this is a cross-platform solution already proven to work well. Meanwhile, CloID is dependent on all users making use of one proprietary service, which is not ideal for those who are, for example, using Android devices, for which the app is not presently available. Expanding to other platforms in the future isn’t beyond the realm of possibility — plans are already in place for a Web-based component to the service, according to the official site — but for the moment, this is an app which is a nice idea in theory but a little impractical as executed in its current form.
The app itself performs well and is simple to use. It takes a somewhat minimalist approach to its interface and does not clutter things up with additional features beyond its basic functions of exchanging information. This means it is very straightforward to navigate and easy to figure out without the need for help files or documentation, but it also means there’s not much to the app. Without the inclusion of basic contact list functionality like groups and so forth, there isn’t much benefit to someone making use of CloID as their primary contact list application over and above even the basic built-in tools on iOS.
You can follow CloID’s progress with AppData, our tracking service for mobile and social apps and developers.