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Friday, 22 October 2010

Youlu Addres Book: contacts manager, threaded SMS, and more

Youlu Address Book: contacts manager, threaded SMS for Symbian
Youlu Address Book is a phone book, SMS program, call recorder, and "vibrate on answer" application. It can also backup your contacts, messages, and calender to its server, which may help synchronising them with other phones.

Youlu's contacts manager lets you edit your address book, make calls, and send SMSs. It also displays the call and message history of your contacts, which the built-in contacts application does not. Selecting the message history takes you to a threaded conversation view similar to programs like Smser and Free-iSMS.

Youlu won't let you set or change the picture associated with a contact, but it lets you edit its ringtone. It only sees the ringtones in your phones' default sound folders, which is a good thing if the all-seeing built-in contacts application chokes on the thousand mp3 files that you stored in a folder full of music on your memory card.

The SMS tab shows threaded conversations, but it only sees the messages in your in- and out folders. Anything in your custom folders stays hidden for Youlu. On the bright side, this speeds up the program if you keep the number of messages in the in- and outfolders reasonably low.

Youlu can backup and sync your contacts, messages, and calendar with its own web server if you trust them with your private data like your phone number, contacts list, messages, etc. Even if you don't, Youlu is useful without connecting to their servers.

Unfortunately Youlu is far from finished. Its call recorder didn't work on my phones. Neither did the "vibrate when outgoing call is connected" option, which is supposed to work like FreeCallSprite. Maybe it will work in the next version of the program?

One annoying feature of Youlu is that the red hangup button doesn't close the program. It only hides it, even for the task manager that pops up if you long-press the menu key. You can shut Youlu down from the menu, but only in the settings tab, and then you still have to click yes on a confirmation screen which serves no useful purpose at all.

But this is only version 1.0.0. If they can fix the broken parts Youlu may become a very useful program. Youlu Addres Book is much more than an address book, so maybe Youlu Contacts would be a better name for the program?

Youlu (official site) UPDATE: This link is dead. And so is Symbian.
Youlu 1.0.0 (english translation) at mobile9 UPDATE: This link is dead. And so is Symbian.
Youlu 1.0.0 (english version) at MobiCreed UPDATE: This link is dead. And so is Symbian.

UPDATE: Call recording appears to be fixed in Youlu 1.0.1. Warning: installing the new Youlu on top of the old version changes all the settings back to default, so you'll need to configure them again after updating the program.

Youlu 1.0.1 (english version) at GizmoGates UPDATE: This link is dead. And so is Symbian.

If your phone complains about certificate errors, you'll need to sign Youlu at Open Signed Online or with your own certificate, or you can hack your phone and install Youlu without signing.

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