Contacts in the Browser is a Firefox add-on which provides a contacts database that can be used within the browser.

The program has built-in support for importing your GMail, Twitter or Mac OS address books, and then stay in sync with them automatically. And if you use another address book, don't worry, a generic import routine may be able to grab the details you need.

And with that done, you get an easy email autocompletion tool that should work on any website. The browser detects that you're entering a friend's email, maybe to invite them to join this great new site you've discovered, and automatically offers you the full address so you don't have to type (or remember) it all yourself.

Mozilla Labs are also working on a "Javascript API that websites can use to access the Contacts database, with explicit user permission and filtering". So presumably, if you allow it, sites will be able to offer some kind of "tell your friends" feature that will alert several of your contacts in just a click or two. Only unlike the situation at the moment, where you'll share your entire contacts list for a particular service, here you'll get to decide exactly which addresses are disclosed.

Sounds interesting, but beware - this is pre-alpha code, and bugs are to be expected. Uninstall the add-on if you have any problems.


While is has limitations right now, Contacts in the Browser is a potentially very useful idea and it will be interesting to see how it develops