Over the years, plenty of companies have tried to tackle the problem of keeping our contact information up to date. (Remember when everyone was all abuzz about Plaxo?) But a startup founded by veterans of Microsoft and LinkedIn is taking another run at the problem — starting with a new iPhone app, launching today.

It’s called addappt. The free app is an address book that connects to and draws info from the user’s native iPhone address book. But the big difference is that users can connect to their contacts from within the app, allowing them to stay in sync.

For example, users can change their own contact information at any point to automatically update that information in the private address books of all the addappt users they’re connected with. Then, because the app connects back to the iPhone’s native contacts database, the contact information gets updated across any cloud services or other apps that users have set up to sync with the iPhone.

One of the side benefits is the ability to control which photo of yourself appears on your contact’s phone when you call, based on which photo you upload along with your contact info in addappt.

“We’re converting every contact in your address book into a living user,” said addappt CEO and co-founder Mrinal Desai, a startup veteran (previously co-founder of CrossLoop) who was LinkedIn’s first business development manager.

The company’s CTO and co-founder is software design engineer Jorge Ferreira, a University of Washington alum and 12-year veteran of Microsoft who worked on products including Word, Office and SharePoint during his tenure with the Redmond company.

The biggest benefits will come once the app reaches a critical mass of users, letting users create more and more of those live connections in their address books. But in the meantime, the addappt founders are hoping to attract users with the promise of a better address book, with fewer taps to access and act on basic information such as email, calling and texting.

Addaapt is self-funded for now, and the company plans to expand to additional platforms over time. The app is available here. Sign-up is by invitation, but you can mention GeekWire in your invite request.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/jasondouglasfarris Jason Farris

    Hasn’t windowsphone had this all along? I’ve enjoyed this functionality for the better part of two years now.

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