Walking the line between nerd and cool.

Google Contacts and the iPhone

Last time I upgraded phones from a Samsung flip phone to the Treo 700wx, I went through my contacts and manually added everything to the Treo instead of paying the $10 at Verizon to have them do the transfer.  Not a big deal.

This time, I’m trying to move my contacts from the Treo to the new iPhone.  The iPhone allows me to sync with Google’s contacts (my Gmail contacts, actually).  This causes all kinds of problems however:

  • My contacts have always been separate from one another.  Gmail had all my email addresses, my phone only phone numbers.
  • The most direct route of transferring the numbers is to sync them to Outlook, export them to a file, then import them to Gmail.
  • Everyone who I have a phone number for is now listed twice in Gmail.

So I’ve spent about 2 hours updating my contacts to get things in some sort of order.  I suppose long-term, this will be good for me.  However, after working with Gmail’s contacts for a while now, here are some changes to the Google contact manager I’d like to see:

  • Google is about search.  Can’t it search your contacts and suggest possible duplicates for merging together?
  • I’d like to be able to search for contacts that aren’t in a specific group.
  • Where is the social media section of the contacts?  Why can’t I store people’s MySpace, Facebook, Twitter or personal websites in a specialized field?
  • For that matter, why can’t Google suggest possible links by searching for the email address and seeing if it’s linked to a social media site?
  • I want to archive email addresses with a contact.  This way I can keep a record of all previous email addresses for someone so the “View Recent Conversations” will show all emails from all the addresses associated with the contact.  These archived addresses shouldn’t show up as options in the auto-complete suggestions for writing an email, only in the conversation history.

The iPhone and other smart phones in this generation have radically changed the way we use phones.  It’s time Contacts caught up.

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