With the purchase of Gist by Research In Motion (back in Dec 2010), I would presume the updated Gist client would be integrated tightly and pretty cool. I was disappointed.
I downloaded the 1.6.12 version client while at BlackBerry DevCon. After the 2.5 MB package installed, and I approved the trusted status I went to work with the features.
The first step was logging into an existing Gist account or creating a new one. I recently posted how Gist had removed basically a year of work and data in building my dashboard. So while I had a login I had no data behind it.
As you can see, I hooked Twitter in right away and hesitated with the others until I saw what it did with synchronizing the contact data. My point being that I did not want all my contacts being merged into my BlackBerry from all of the above networks.
You are also able to share, send feedback and look at the license agreement lower in Image 1 above.
From there I explored a bit and I am choosing Caleb Elston of Yobongo as my test victim. It pulled his bio from Twitter (so this screenshot shows nothing outside what is public there anyway) and if I continued to hook to things like Google Apps or even Facebook, it would draw even more information.
The number you see is the order of importance you assign to users for updates and placement in the dashboard. That takes a lot of tweaking over time when you have hundreds to thousands of contacts and companies in the dashboard on the web.
I did find out that no contacts were brought into my BlackBerry address book and any advanced things I wanted to know about them I had to do inside the Gist application itself. As you can see, there is another tab to show the contact feed from all the places you hook together about them. This includes Twitter, blogs, Facebook, corporate news and more.
There was not much else possible in the menus except to be able to email every one of the contacts in your Gist address book. A scary thought that you may want to send an email that size, and it was unclear what email account sent them as I was scared to even click that option not knowing if there was another prompt behind it.
One other option in the menu is to read your calendar for upcoming meetings and then gather data about the other attendees that it matches to your Gist listing. I only had one that matched and I got the same information from the images above. It could be a good way to gather information before your meeting, but you need those people to be synchronized with Gist to get the full effect. It even states in a help screen that the more connected you are to a person across the social networks the richer the profile available.
From there I have closed the application and not really opened it again on the BlackBerry. I did the reverse test where I had a contact locally in my address book and I used the menu item to ‘Get the Gist” on that person.
You can share news and things from inside the application about those. I am unsure how security works if that person allows you to be their friend on Facebook or follow them on Twitter, does it obey the security and sharing functions of those services? These are a few more things I need to test later.
The app itself had below a 3 star rating in AppWorld which is curious since it did so well before and is actually owned by RIM now, I would think the integration and development behind it would make this a 5 star app.