The internet means that we are now all better connected than ever before and most of us have a gigantic list of contacts. The problem with the way things work at the moment is that these contacts tend to spread across multiple services. For example, you may maintain an address book in your PIM or email client, while various web sites enable you to store a list of contacts specific to that service online. Contacts in the Browser is an experimental Firefox add-ons which aims to make all contact information available through your web browser.

After installing the add-on and restarting Firefox, Contacts can be accessed via the Tools menu and you will be provided with the opportunity to import existing contacts from your local address book, your Gmail contacts as well as Twitter. Any contacts that have web addresses associated with them will have clickable URL in their entries, while addresses are transformed into Google Maps links.

Contacts can be viewed in business card mode or as a simple list, and a search facility is available to make it easier to manage an ever-growing address book. Once the database has been populated with some of your pre-existing contacts, the email auto-complete feature can be used to make it easier to fill in online forms - such as sending a web page to a friend.

As this is an experimental add-on, Contacts in the Browser is still in the fairly early stages of development. Over time, web sites will be able to request access to your browser contact list to offer a range of different services and options, but widespread use of the API is something that will come in time.
 

Verdict

Contacts in the Browser is a great concept and it is an extension that's certainly worth installing just to see how things develop - there should be great things to come.