Can another company deliver on the promise of Foursquare?

Foursquare may be struggling, but that doesn’t mean others aren’t jostling to take its place. A new app, Connect, just raised a $10.3 million Series A, in a round including Marc Benioff, to give it a shot. It calls itself a “living address book.” It’s a digital address book that syncs all your social contacts together, but it’s also a new take on Foursquare’s check-in feature.

The app shows you a map of your city with little face bubbles telling you where your friends are hanging out. There’s a key difference though. Unlike Foursquare, which requires people to “check-in”, Connect extracts data from people’s Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Foursquare feeds to tell you where they’re located. The black circles represent their main city, pulled from their social profile information, and the red circles represent where a person has recently posted they are. For example, if you post a status about “Having a great time at Dolores Park,” Connect will place you at Dolores Park in the Mission neighborhood of San Francisco. When Facebook latently notes your location for its “friends nearby” feature, Connect will pull that too.

Screenshots from Connect app

Screenshots from Connect app

The automatic information drawing removes the friction of the check-in to make your friends’ location data more readily available. You receive notifications when an out-of-town friend is visiting your city. The lead investor in Connect, Brad Bao from Kinzon Capital, told me he invested in the app because it solves a connection problem people didn’t necessarily know they had. “In a way, its similar to Uber before Uber existed,” Bao said. “There’s no way to [latently] inform my friends where I’m at.”

CEO Ryan Allis told me he spent a year and a half building the technology. We already had our surge in geolocation networking in 2011-2012. With Foursquare’s pivot, it appears the heyday might be over. But Connect’s premise intrigued me enough to try it. I liked Facebook’s “friends nearby” feature, despite its creepy vibe. It has almost resulted in me getting together with a friend I wouldn’t otherwise…such promise. Why not expand that to other networks?

But the vision of Connect seems to be a little behind the execution. On my map, there weren’t many friends in San Francisco, despite the fact that Facebook’s app clearly told me no less than three friends were all in my vicinity. That lapse in communication between the apps may be the result of some Facebook’s users privacy settings.

One of the friends the Connect app did show as being in San Francisco isn’t actually here. I texted her to double-check, and sure enough, she’s back in Boston (where she lives full time).

The promise of Foursquare — to know where your friends were so you could connect serendipitously — was so appealing, but technologically we may just not be there yet.

Sick of keeping track of contact details? ContactMonkey wants to help

The days of business card details recorded in Rolodexes are long gone with dozens of different platforms for storing contact information taking their place. Cloud-based service ContactMonkey aims to make it simple to share, grab and update contact details, no matter which one you’re using.

Quick tip: Organize and protect your new Apple gear

Many of us got some great tech gifts during the holidays. Knowing what exactly you have, and keeping critical info handy can make life easier when problems occur. Here are a few simple tips you can use now to save time and money in the future.

Spanning Tools review: Cure your cloud syncing woes

Whether you use iCloud, MobileMe or Google to sync your contacts and calendars — no matter how careful you are — glitches occur. Fortunately, Spanning Tools helps clean up your contacts and calendars, making sure your syncs go as planned and correcting errors after the fact.

How-To: Printing Mailing Labels From Address Book

This holiday season, the Unites States Postal Service recommends getting First Class Mail out by Monday, Dec. 20 to ensure delivery by the 25th. The following two tips will help you get address labels printed up and ready to mail using your Mac.

Quick Tip: Obscure Your Address Book Data

With both the iPhone and Mac address book syncing to Google or MobileMe, your address book data can be hacked without access to your actual phone. It’s time to think twice about what you store in your address book.

Mozilla Labs’ Contacts: An Awesome Bar for People

Contacts makes your browser “aware” of contact lists and address books you’re using elsewhere on the web, but rather than simply providing a view of these aggregated contacts, the add-on integrates them into form elements, so that names and addresses are auto-completed as you type.

The Smart Mac: Address Book & Mail

Apple’s original implementation of “smart” file management isn’t just limited to the Finder, and in fact, you’ve probably seen it more often in other applications like Address Book and Mail.

Here are some ideas of how you can harness the power of these two applications using the same idea as Smart Folders.

Smart Groups

Address Book provides support for smart groups which allow for dynamic content, just like a smart folder. As new content is added that meet your guidelines, the group will automatically update.

Creating a Smart Group is as simple as going to File and selecting “New Smart Group…” or by clicking the plus icon (+) in the lower left corner of the Address Book window. Then give your group a name and set of criteria. As you add your second criterion, you’ll have the choice for your group to consist of any of your rules or all of your rules.

Here’s some ideas for useful smart groups. Read More about The Smart Mac: Address Book & Mail