Thursday app of the week: Rapportive

Daniel Radding/Staff

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Name: Rapportive

Platform(s): Chrome, Firefox, Safari

Price: Free

Mission: See your social media contacts in Gmail

This week’s app is one of those apps that takes five seconds to set up, but once you have it you’ll wonder why its not built into Gmail in the first place. It’s called Rapportive, and it’s a free extension for Chrome, Firefox and Safari.

What makes Rapportive awesome is how simple the concept is behind it. Rapportive checks for social media accounts associated with the sender’s email address including Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. When you open a email, Rapportive replaces the ads found on the right-hand side with a vertical box filled with information about the sender of the email you’re currently reading.

Additionally you can link many of your social media accounts to Rapportive to see extra information about the sender on social networks where you’re connected. This allows you to do things like comment on Facebook posts or retweet someone right from Gmail.

Another neat feature built in is that you can add notes about the person that only you can see. It’s a perfect chance to remind yourself why you love or hate a person or if you owe that person something or vice versa.

The main caveat to Rapportive is that it only works with Gmail. Rapportive is also compatible with bMail because Berkeley’s email service is really just Gmail with a bMail branded skin. Now if you haven’t switched from CalMail to bMail at this point, you should be ashamed. bMail is awesome, but then again maybe you have a reason.

If you have Gmail or bMail, there isn’t a reason not to use Rapportive. It simply makes your email experience fuller and takes nothing away.

You can contact Daniel Radding at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter at @Dradd510.