Gmail and Facebook Users: Time to Resign Yourself to Extra Contacts | webOS Nation

Gmail and Facebook Users: Time to Resign Yourself to Extra Contacts

by Dieter Bohn Fri, 29 May 2009 3:41 pm EDT

We know the Palm Pre and webOS will pull contacts from three sources at launch: Google, Facebook, and Exchange.  Actually, it should handle multiple Google and Exchange accounts -- hooray!  All while automatically merging duplicate contacts into a single card and keeping your sync sources "siloed" so they don't infest each other with their data.  Truly, Synergy is a wonderful system.  Except for one little thing...

As a long-time Google Contacts user, I have a piece of news that's difficult to impart: get ready for your contacts list to get unnecessarily big.  I've been using Google EAS mobile sync for multiple devices now and I can tell you: Google is aggressive at adding contact emails to your list.  Even if you cull it regularly, it becomes messy.

It gets a bit more complicated with the Pre, as we're discovering in our forums.  Turns out that the webOS syncs All Contacts instead of "My Contacts," meaning all those extra "suggested contacts" are included in your sync.  Sure, you can delete them, but it's still messy. 

Add in the fact that you can't delete Facebook contacts or choose which ones you want to sync to the Pre and you're looking at a pretty messy contacts list.  Sure - you'll have few to no duplicates and that helps, but you're also going to have your great aunt Suzie who just joined Facebook last week and let's be honest: you'll never call her.

Of course, if you're just an Exchange user you likely won't run into these sorts of hassles, congratulations.

For the rest of you Google and Facebook users, however, I have a small piece of advice: Use Universal Search to find contacts and don't let the ballooning size of your Contact's list get to you. I've basically given up on having a contacts list of only the people I think I want in there. After years of therapy, I've come to accept that there are dozens (approaching hundreds) of people in my contacts that I'll never call, email, or IM.

All of which is why type-to-find/Universal Search is an essential feature for smartphones.  Use Universal Search instead of scrolling through your contacts.  Use Universal Search and just let those extras sit in there, they're not hurting you, are they? Use Universal Search and it'll be ok, I promise.