Ever since Xobni launched at the first TechCrunch 40, it’s been about Outlook and then Blackberry. But those of us who use Gmail also want to make our inboxes smarter. Today, Xobni is launching aprivate beta for Gmail, and will soon also launch iPhone and Android apps. The first 100 readers to sign up for the Gmail beta will get in (use the code XOBNI-TC100).
The Gmail app comes in the form of a browser extension for either Chrome or Firefox (Safari and IE will come later). Once you install it, a Xobni sidebar appears in your Gmail Inbox. Once you allow it to index your contacts and hook it up to your Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn accounts, it starts to show you all sorts of relationship data. Contact search in the Xobni box is hella fast, much faster than searching in the Gmail search box (but only for contacts, it does not index the entire text of your messages).
When you open up an email, the Xobni sidebar shows you a graph plotting your relationship history (how many messages you’ve exchanged) as well as other contacts frequently CCed on messages to or from that person. You can also tab through to a list of recent emails with that person, summary info from their LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter profiles (along with recent status updates and Tweets).
Soon, the Xobni extension will work inline in the regular Gmail search box as well, creating smart autosuggestions every time you search. Other additional features the company is working on include contact suggestions in the To: field based on related contacts in the past, phone number extraction and attachment search . It will also pull Tweets and Facebook updates from your closest email contacts in a dashboard view, whether or not you follow them on those social networks.