back to article Google finally pulls Gmail contacts tool into line

Google has tweaked its Gmail contacts feature by finally making it easier to navigate and manage. The Chocolate Factory has also made some minor changes to the interface of the free version of its popular web mail product. “You’ve asked us to generally make Contacts easier to use, as well as for specific improvements like …


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  1. Vitani

    I must say ...

    It's a massive improvement. They've fixed the biggest gripes I had with Gmail contacts; the location of the button, easily seeing which tags a contact has, custom phone number labels (which has been in Android's Gmail app from day one, and they even showed correctly in the web-based Gmail), but best of all the automatically "saved" contact details are now completely separate from your "real" contacts and therefore easily deletable!!

    Nice one Google.

  2. jmal555

    Gmail revamp

    Unfortunately they removed the quicklinks in the inbox toolbar to select All, Read, Unread emails etc, which I used every day. That's a downgrade in usability just to make the user interface look cleaner.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      ......see that little tick box in the top left-hand corner next to 'archive'? That drop down does everything that you need.


    2. Giddy Kipper


      It's one additional click to activate the drop-down menu.

      Not much of downgrade really now is it?

      1. John 62
        Thumb Down

        only 1 extra click

        but the various selects were probably my most commonly used commands. When I'm managing my mail, I'm also probably not using the keyboard, so the keyboard shortcuts, while useful aren't the easiest way for me. Anyway, they took an awesome feature and hid it in case someone might find it and use it (and the keyboard shortcuts seem like a magic incantation known only to the most dedicated acolytes. There's an help link, but who would think you'd need to read the help just to select all unread?). bawh.

    3. PJ H

      Use shortcuts instead...

      You could always use the keyboard shortcuts instead - probably quicker than moving the mouse and clicking for those used to keyboards - press ? to get a full list but:

      Select all: *a

      Select read: *r

      Select unread: *u

      Select starred: *s

      Archive: e

      Delete: #

      For example, to archive all read: *re

      Delete all starred: *s#

      1. John 62

        is it me or IE8?

        the shortcuts aren't working for me. I confirmed them from GMail help (which relies too much on search for my liking)

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Title Required

    I still think the interface sucks - Gmail otherwise is great.

    I have the misfortune of managing a corporate Apps set-up, surely these changes will somehow manage to confuse our users when its rolled out.

  4. BenR
    Thumb Up

    Yeah, but...

    Have they also fixed the crappily low-res pictures that it forces you to use for contact pictures?

    When I sort out contact pictures on my Droid they look fine, but one sync later and the res is shot to hell!

    1. Oliver 7

      I can't even use contact pics!

      Not sure whether to blame Google, HTC or Volkswagen Audi Group but I have the weirdest issue with my Hero and the Bluetooth in my Seat.

      Any contacts that have a pic associated are not listed by name in the car phone book when the phone pairs with the head unit. Instead the first number associated with the contact is listed instead. As the list is ordered alphabetically the numbers appear at the top of the stack and most are useless to me as they are invariably geographical rather than mobile numbers (+4401... or +4402... come before +4407... natch). If I remove the pic in Google contacts the issue goes away.

  5. Willy Messerschmitt

    Can you say "National Security Letter"

    See this:

    Google CEO Schmidt:

    I suggest this here:


    It is no coincidence that Obama's minions recently stopped and questioned a TOR developer for a few hours when ingressing to the Land Of Merkins. They also confiscated his cellphones without court order.

    Stopping using Google without TOR. Clean your browsing history often and early. Don't forget to remove the Adobe Flash cookies.

    Message written from a firefox communicating via TOR.

    1. Captain TickTock


      And who runs the relays that Tor uses? Volunteers. Can you trust them all?

      I remember now why I didn't jump on it straight away.

  6. Anonymous Coward

    Paying customers

    So as an Apps user, and therefore a paying customer, I get these needed updates to the contact functionality last.

    Way to prioritize your customers Google!

    1. PJ H

      Re: Paying customers

      "So as an Apps user, and therefore a paying customer, I get these needed updates to the contact functionality last."

      Indeed. What's the problem?

      I don't think paying customers, in general, want to be beta testers for new functionality/interfaces. What if there's a bug in there and paying customers were exposed to it. Would you then be one of the first to complain that as a "paying customer," you shouldn't be exposed to bugs on stuff that hadn't been tested. You can't have it both ways.

      It's how beta programmes are generally accepted to work.

    2. Anonymous Coward

      Yes, because...

      When they roll this out to us free customers and it fucks up your e-mail account then it doesn't matter as they can fix the bugs before it gets to those of you who pay for their services.

      Ever since the upgrade it's not receiving my e-mails that are forwarded there and sending is screwed too. Doesn't matter what browser or what IP I'm coming from. See... there's a good reason for them not to upgrade you first.

    3. BorkedAgain


      Sure. Let the freetards beta the changes for us first, then roll out the properly-tested, properly-working new interface to us paying customers.

      If you're mad-keen to try out the new UI, sign up to your own non-domain gmail account and play to your heart's content. You didn't have this new UI last week, so it's not like it's a major hardship keeping the status quo for a bit while Google log who screams and why...

  7. Kay Burley ate my hamster
    Thumb Up


    Is awesome!!!

  8. Alan 6


    So this is why Gmail has been up & down like a brides nighty over that last couple of days.

    Personally I don't give a flying fuck where the contacts button is, I'd just like to access my email every now & again and not see the SSL error window on my home page thank you very much.

  9. hydrasworld


    So does this mean they might finally allow us to sync our contacts with our computers then? Come on google. We want outlook calendar AND contact syncronisation, and osx iCal and Contacts too...

    1. Pandy06269

      OSX does sync

      Apple's address book app in OSX does sync with Gmail - I have a HTC Magic Googlephone - it syncs my contacts to Gmail, then my Mac syncs its contacts with Gmail.

      If I add a contact using my phone or my Mac, it's on the other device within a few minutes.

      Look in the Preferences in Address Book.

  10. Jean-Paul

    Wow structured name fields

    It is unbelievable in the second half of 2010 they have finally introduced structured names fields...Unbelievable, finally those with titles, double barralled names, last names with spaces in, post fixes can write their name and have it synced across multiple devices how it is stated on the birth certificate...

    Well done google only about 30 years later than the rest of the industry ;-)

  11. Peter D'Hoye


    has been woking great for me, both to my home pc and my n900....

  12. Anonymous Coward

    Still not working properly

    When will I be able to properly sync Gmail contacts with Windows 7? Including pictures!!!

  13. gimbal

    and we want it all right now (tm)

    Well, I want Google to let me control my own Mars rover, remotely, using only a margarine spatula and a pair of kebab sticks. Darn, Google, what a way to let us down, by improving your online webmail user interface!

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