PhoneBook (iTunes Link) is a new iPhone application looking to make it as easy as possible to call your most important contacts. The application plugs into your AT&T account, allowing it to dynamically rearrange your list of contacts depending on how often you call them.
After entering your carrier account information, PhoneBook can suck in your call data, which it can then use to update your list of friends so that the ones you call most are always the easiest to dial. Using Facebook Connect, users can import and automatically assign photos to their friends’ phone numers. The app also allows users to monitor their phone usage (so they don’t get charged for extra minutes).
Maybe I’m just paranoid, but I doubt many people are going to jump through the hoop of entering their phone carrier’s account information primarily so that the photos of their friends are arranged in the proper order. Most people simply don’t call that many friends, and there are plenty of similar apps that allow users to rearrange their contacts without having to let the app access potentially sensitive data. Granted, there are some services like BillShrink that ask for the same information, but that site has a more practical use that may be a little more enticing: it saves users money.
That said, there are certainly some cool things that can be done with this kind of data – PhoneBook just needs to figure out some innovative features that will tantilize users enough to sign up for the app. The PhoneBook developers say that more features are on the way, and that they may eventually offer premium features to generate revenue (it may also serve up advertising for free users).