Nat TaylorObservations & more

Using Google Contacts on Android

I finally have my Android contacts synced in a way I like with my Google Contacts and it only took 2 years.  I wanted a single, unified contacts tool with photos.  I didn’t want to have to use a 3rd party app to “automagically” manage my contacts.  I didn’t want to permanently or irreversibly link my various contacts stores and risk polluting the data.

my contacts
All My Contacts in One Place: Google Contacts is the only tool I use for storing contacts on my Android phone and I’ve taken care to merge duplicates, reduce noise and add photos.  Here are so tips:

  1. Accounts Do not let your phone store contacts on the device; force it to use your Google account.
  2. Duplicates Do not use “join” from your phone.  Use “Merge” from the web interface.  The prior (join) only affects the contacts on your device; the latter (merge) affects your whole account.
  3. Pictures I loaded my Facebook friends pictures into my Google Contacts in a controlled manner using “Contact Pictures Sync
  4. Noise I reduced the number of “contacts” I had from 1200+ to ~400 by migrating contacts out of “My Contacts” into “Other Contacts” from the web interface.  “Other Contacts” are kept around for autocomplete on email (at least from the desktop interface) but don’t clutter up the “Contacts” that show up on my phone.

I couldn’t find a guide to walk me through this, so I figured it was worth documenting.

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