google will help you, if you want it to.

April 4, 2011 at 6:56 pm
filed under blog

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so i stumbled upon a solution to a problem that has vexed me for a while now.

if you use google for your contact management, you will have noticed that you can create groups (which are essentially tags) so that you dont have to look through a list of hundreds of contacts to find specific contacts. i use groups so that i can send a mass email out or to look for combinations of people at one time.

unfortunately for me apple and google are retarded.

groups do not sync to the iphone. no, they dont. nor do they sync to the osx addressbook. nor do they sync to my butt.

well there is a great work around, and it works if you dont have TOO MANY groups you need to work with.

osx allows you to make contact groups, but it also allows you to make “Smart Groups” aka queries that update dynamically. you can construct this query out of any field in your contact, or all fields of your contact. this is awesomeness all by itself and i feel stupid that i didnt know about it before. but its awesome is furthered if you sync your osx addressbook to google contacts. why?

because you can use the notes field to put anything you want, including a searchable tag like “friends” or “family” or “gamers” or “assfacesidontwanttotalkto”

this is well and good, but what about my phone? assuming you are using Google Sync to get push sync on your gmail account, all you need is an app that lets you create a query of your contacts. apple has had the same, tired, contacts app since the iphones inception. what is it good for? viewing 500 contacts in a thumb swipe-able display of moronity: “hold on while i swipe down to the Rs!” you could type the query in at the top, but you cant save that search.

go get the now free app called “Tacts” build yourself a query, and bang you have the same group you made on your osx addressbook on your phone. totally outside of google too. if you want to recreate it on google, just type in the tag in the search box. ironically, google is the furthest behind, because you cant build a query on their site, so you cant save the query like “friend” or anything else you want. still, this is my holy grail so far.

this works, and it will be how i manage my contacts for while. i think this is better than third party methods and it keeps over the air syncing of everything intact, which is important if you hate itunes and hate syncing with itunes. also, you get the same powerful contact management functionality if you have hundreds of contacts without paying for 3rd party sync services like mobile me etc.

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