Refresh (free) is a fascinating app designed to tell you more about people in your contacts or people you are about to have a meeting with. We first looked at the app in June, but are some significant changes and new useful features.
Once you set up Refresh with logins for social sites like Linkedin, Twitter, Facebook and others, it will note who is on your upcoming calendar events and notify you with background on the people you are going to meet. You can also search for people by name, whether you have a meeting with them or not. It's a clever idea to aggregate these public sources of information, although I can't get over the fact that it feels a bit creepy to do this.
The app never shares your data. A smart notifications feature reminds you to check the app just before a meeting.
New features are a complete and easier to use re-design, searching of news articles about a person, increased sourcing, including Yelp, Quora, Dribble and others, and a new approach to ordering and presenting the data.
Refresh for iPhone
Setting up Refresh is easy, especially if you remember your various logins at social sites. When you search for someone it will tell you about them, any common contacts you have with them, where they live and have lived, and their interests. Of course all this information depends upon what that person posts on various social sites.
I found the app worked well, and I can see where someone in business would appreciate having a single place to get this information. Still, it reminds me of how much information about ourselves and others is up on the web for people to see, which still feels a bit disquieting.
Refresh requires iOS 7 or later. It's not a universal app, and it does support the longer screen of the iPhone 5. The company has just released web access so you can see your information on any computer client.