Refresh is the digital equivalent of the rolodex with a whole bunch of extra features that help you know someone before you actually meet them. An advanced contacts manager, Refresh lets you get insights on other people in just a few seconds.
Refresh is your social network curator, contacts manager, and calendar assistant all rolled into one. The app taps into your contacts list, your calendar and all your social networks (the more, the better) to create profiles of the people you have in your address book. It also pulls your calendar events and aggregates the profiles of people who are attending your next meeting.
Refresh is designed to help you avoid those awkward moments of silence by giving you talking points about people including their mutual acquaintances, their work history, their outside interests and personal details such as birthday and hometown. The amount of personal, work and social information available at your fingertips is impressive.
Instead of building a dry, data-driven profile, Refresh uses this social information to offer tips about a contact. You will find relevant information about the person's employer, such as stock prices, that you can use to kick off a conversation. You also will see hints like "Congratulate Charles on his post: Just got promoted to regional manager" or "Mention you saw Charles' status post: Hiked a section of the Appalachian trail this week." Much like the rolodex of the past, Refresh also lets you add custom notes about a contact that you glean from a face-to-face meeting.
The app's information gathering is useful for someone who interacts with a large number of people. There is a lot of detailed information that'll help you prepare for interviews and business meetings. Some of the information, though, borders on the very personal and may not be as useful in early conversations. You have browse through the details and find the information most appropriate for your next encounter.
Be warned that the amount of information available to Refresh can be an eye-opener, especially when you realize a similar profile can be built about you. Used appropriately, the compiled data can help you know some salient facts about a person before you actually meet them. You just have to use caution as you don't want to mention a photo from a recent Caribbean cruise the first time you shake someone's hand.
Refresh is available for free from the iOS App Store. It works on the iPhone and requires iOS 7.