Home Why You Have to Use the Standalone Google Contacts Page

Why You Have to Use the Standalone Google Contacts Page

Over the weekend, you may have heard the news about how Google finally assigned their standalone Gmail Contacts page a proper URL. Although the independent site has been available since fall of last year, it was previously somewhat hidden through an obfuscated URL. Now the site is online at google.com/contacts, a web address that’s sure to encourage more people to use Google and/or Gmail to organize and maintain their address lists. What you may have not known about this special contacts page, however, is that it’s actually the only usable place to organize your contacts within the Gmail system.

You may have skipped over this news thinking it of relatively minor importance. In the grand scheme of things, it is.  But being a heavy Gmail user myself (and a somewhat obsessed online organizer of online data), it was great to hear that Google was focusing on improving the contacts experience. Let me explain.

You see, I haven’t been able to actually use my contacts within Gmail for some time.

The problem stems from what is perhaps an overuse of the “Groups” feature on my part. Upon reaching a certain number of groups, a bug in the code for the Gmail contacts page prevents me from seeing the remaining groups available below a certain point on the dropdown list when I’m trying to add a contact to a group.

Here’s an example (see the bottom of the groups list where it cuts off):

Because of this issue – a problem found both in Firefox and Google’s own Chrome browser – the only way I could use the Contacts feature was via the hidden page.

On the standalone contacts page it works:

Without a handy URL to access this site, the only recourse was to bookmark the URL on all the home’s computers. But if I ever strayed from my own machines, believe me that URL was quickly forgotten. Obviously, you can see why I cheered for the news about google.com/contacts.

Now that Google Contacts finally has a proper URL, maybe the company can focus on making the contact manager a bit more robust or even integrating it with Google Sync technology for easy import/export to your mobile devices.  That would be impressive. Until then, it’s nice to just be able to access this site with ease.

(By the way, Google Apps for your Domain users have to go here: https://www.google.com/contacts/a/YOURDOMAIN.TLD – sorry!)

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