After finally clambering onto the iPhone bandwagon this past June my interest in developing for the device reached an all time high.

It’s probably evident when browsing my body of work, but my favorite hobby projects tend to solve very specific problems that annoy me personally. I make a living writing code for other people, so it is very satisfying to me when I get to apply my professional skills to a personal endeavor.

I therefore find it very fitting that PassAlong, my first iPhone app to be available on the App Store, is an app that I wrote simply because I wanted it to exist.

The app was born out of my frustration when friends would ask a simple favor: “Hey, can you text me so-and-so’s number?” While this may seem like a simple task, older phones required a pen and paper (or second phone acting as a note pad) to look up the number, transcribe it and then type it into a text message.

I thought surely iPhone would save me from this senseless complication, but I was disappointed to find that the ‘Share’ button for a contact would only attach that contact’s vCard to an e-mail message. This annoyed me for two reasons:

  1. My non-techie friends would have no idea what to do with a vCard that I e-mailed to them.

  2. I was out of luck if I wanted to share contact information with someone who does not have a smart phone with e-mail access.

What I really wanted was an easy way to insert phone numbers (or other contact information) as plain text into an SMS message for near universal compatibility.

Using the built in copy/paste to send more than one piece of information (for example the person’s name and their phone number) requires tedious switching back and forth between the Messages app and the Address book.

Enter PassAlong: the easiest way to share contact information via SMS, e-mail and Twitter. Select whichever information you like from as many contacts as you like. All the selected contact information is formatted as plain text and copied to the clipboard so that you can insert it into any application (most notably Messages, Mail or the Twitter client of your choice).

If you have ever been frustrated by this common annoyance, give PassAlong a try - it’s only $0.99.