Fine-Tune and Prune Your Phone’s Contacts List

Your phone’s Contacts app can easily be considered a simple address book. But default versions of Apple’s iOS 15 and Google’s Android 12 in general may be more useful – providing specific ringtones, travel directions, birthday reminders and more – If You take the time to pull out entries for your favorite people. Here’s a quick guide.

Apple’s iOS contacts app and Google’s free contacts for Android include a card for your own details. That sounds weird, but the information you provide is helpful when working with your phone’s support app or when using the Auto-fill field in Safari and Chrome browsers. For example, mentioning family relationships on your personal contact card helps a Siri or Google assistant when you say, “Call mom,” although you’ll probably need to verbally confirm the relationship with the assistant.

Deposit …Apple; Google

To find your card on iPhone, open the Contacts app. If you don’t see it at the top of the list, tap the + icon to set it up. Select your card and tap Edit. Tap “Add Related Name” and select relationship labels for family members in your contacts. In the Medical ID area, you can designate an emergency contact that appears on your phone’s lock screen if you are unable to.

Deposit …Apple; Google

In Google Contacts, tap your Google Account profile icon in the upper-right corner, select the Contacts app settings, select your information, and tap Edit Contact to fill in your details. On many Google Pixel models, you can assign emergency contacts to Google’s free Personal Safety app or on the lock screen of another Android phone.

To create a contact on an iPhone or Android phone, open the Contacts app, tap the + button and fill in the fields. (If you sync your contacts with your computer or an online service like iCloud or Google, new cards will also appear there.)

Deposit …Apple; Google

Contacts can be more than just a digital Rollodex card. You can add phonetic name-pronunciation guides, social media handles, images, short notes (such as “vegetarian” or “Bengali fan”) and birthdays; Those dates are then added to your iPhone’s alternate birthday calendar or Google’s Calendar app for Android.

To update a contact, select it and tap the Edit button in the upper right corner of the iPhone screen or the Edit Contact button in the lower right corner on an Android phone. In edit mode, add new details, such as addresses for future travel directions. To add a profile picture, tap on the photo icon and select an image on your phone.

On the iPhone’s contact-editing screen, you can assign specific ringtones and text tones to that person. If you want to delete a contact, scroll to the bottom of the screen and tap Delete Contact.

Deposit …Apple; Google

In Google Contacts on Android phones, tap the three-point plus menu in the upper right corner of the open card to get options for assigning specific ringtones, sharing or deleting contacts, and more. (You can delete multiple entries at once from the main list in the More menu: select Select, tap unwanted contacts, and tap the trash icon.)

Looking for multiple entries for the same person? In iOS 15, you can link contacts to hide duplicates. Just open an entry and tap Edit. Scroll to and tap the link contact, select another version and tap the link to unify the cards. (If you’re syncing your iPhone contacts with the Contacts app on Mac, you can also group, delete, and merge entries from your computer.)

Deposit …Apple; Google

Google’s contacts include merge and fix commands to clear duplicates. Tap the menu icon in the upper-left corner, select Merge and Fix and follow along; The tool is also available for Google Contacts on the web, such as the ability to label contacts.) If you choose to merge contacts manually, tap the More menu in the upper right corner and select Select to select entries from the list. Tap the More menu again and select Merge.

Now that your contacts have been updated, put them to work. For example, you can add an iOS widget to your iPhone’s home screen for quick access to your favorite people. On many Android phones, you can save a contact shortcut to your home screen from Google’s Contacts menu.

Deposit …Apple; Google

The card’s share option makes it easy to send text or email contact details to others. Ask your phone assistant to open a specific contact so you can get one-top shortcuts for making video calls, sending electronic cash and more. Or save time and just ask your assistant to initiate a call or message for you.

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