Linking Contacts | webOS Nation

Linking Contacts

by Adam Marks Fri, 29 Oct 2010 2:04 pm EDT

One of the beauties of Synergy is that webOS can take multiple entries for the same person in your contact list (regardless if the entry is from Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, or your Palm Profile) and merge them all together so you don’t need to worry about finding the one right entry that has the email address or phone number you need. While webOS will automatically merge contacts based on a formula that looks for the same Name, email address or phone number, it doesn't always work perfectly. For example, webOS may not realize that "Jon Smith" and "Jonathan Smith" are the same person, or wouldn't know that "Jane Jones" and "Mom" should be linked together. In other cases, the way that different accounts handle middle or maiden names may cause a problem. In these situations, you may need to manually link those contacts together. Continue ready past the break to learn how

 Let's assume we wanted to manually link the Facebook record for "WebOS Internals" and a Palm Profile record for Rod Whitby (the founder of WebOS Internals). The steps you would take are:

  1. Sample webOS Internals Contact record To manually link together two or more contacts, you first need to load up either of the contact records that you want to merge. You can do this by launching the Contacts App and start typing to search, or you can use Universal Search to open up the contact record directly.
  2. Sample WebOS Internals Contact - To Link Once the contact record is open, tap on the Name of the contact on the top of the screen to see an expanded view that shows all of the linked profiles (in this case, just the one from Facebook) and an option to "Link more profiles..."
  3. Tap the "Link more profiles..." option and you will be presented with your full contact list. Do a search to find the contact you want (in this case, we will type in "rwhi" to find Rod's profile using his first initial and last name) and then tap his name.
  4. Sample WebOS Internals - After Linking This will bring you back to the original Contact record, but you will see that both entries for "WebOS Internals" and "Rod Whitby" are listed, and that a number "2" appears in the bottom left corner of the profile picture, indicating that there are 2 records linked together.
  5. But what if you want the contact to show Rod's name and not the "WebOS Internals" name? Just tap on the row with his name and you will get a pop-up with options to: Unlink This Profile, Set As Primary Profile, Delete This Profile, or Cancel. Just tap the "Set As Primary Profile" option and the name and picture (if available) will now be the default for this linked account.

Another great feature about synergy in webOS is that you can still search for either contact name throughout the OS to find this linked contact. Some situations that this can be helpful is if you wanted to link your "Mom" and "Dad" records together, so a search for either will pull up the single record. Or if Facebook treats a middle or maiden name as a last name (e.g. a record for "Jane Smith Jones" may be treated as First Name = Jane, Last Name = Smith Jones), you can link a new record for just "Jane Jones" to that Facebook account to be able to use a last name search properly. That new record doesn't even have to have any data in it, just a name.

Unfortunately, your manually links are not saving with your Palm Profile, so a webOS Doctor or a device swap will undo all that hard work. One way to try and combat this is to try and use the same Name or put the same details in your various contact records. For example, if you already have 2 contacts with the exact same name from both Google and Facebook but they are not auto-linking, try copying the email address from one of the entries, opening up the other entry, editing the entry and then pasting in the email address into the original entry. Once you hit the "Done" button, you may see that those 2 accounts will hopefully then be linked together (without having to follow the steps above). Since webOS auto-linked them together once you added that common piece of data, you should feel comfortable that webOS will link them again in the future if you need to perform a webOS Doctor or have a device swap.

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