If you are an Android user you are most likely aware of its pros and con. indeed there are many pros, and most Android users will never switch to another OS, but there are issues too. Some of the major issues with Android are around managing your contacts and interactions. Here, the mobile experience still has quite a long way to go.
Think about the following, very familiar scenarios (warning – may get you annoyed! ):
You are saving a contact, but your phone seems to have taken a life of its own. How else can you explain the fact that just a few hours after the original save, this single contact has reproduced itself, so you now have a gazillion of contact cards for that same one??
Want another example? Almost every Android user knows: factory reset (ho, the horror) is a must from time to time . Somehow, important contacts tend to disappear after such a factory data reset, even though you HAVE done your homework and DID configure contacts to be backed up in the cloud.
Last but not least: The calendar invitations pain... Why working with the native calendar is still, at the year 2015, so buggy? Some devices don’t even present the important “accept / decline” status, making it impossible to manage your schedule on the go. If you are not sure what I am talking about, consider yourself lucky! And hang on to your device.
Well, Sure, these pains are not unique to Android users, but gladly, Android is an open OS, so we can find many 3rd party tools to assist, as well as to use some native configuration options.
i’ve gathered top 3 tips for helping you organize the mess, save time and reduce your frustration with your device. Hope you find them helpful!
Tip #1: Automate the ‘Join/ Merge contacts’ option
I believe that Google is aware of what we call the chaos of ‘multiple contact cards per person’,and therefore, they have developed the “join contact” option. This option allows you to merge multiple contact cards into a single one that contains all data. This is the way it should have been from the first place. Oh well.. You may find this feature under “settings” once you are in a specific contact card. The exact location changes between different devices, but the functionality is the same.
"Join contact" - Galaxy S4
The thing is that you need to manually join your separated contacts. Hence, it’s annoying. It’s ok if you need to join 3-4 contacts, but if you are like me, collecting them until you can’t take it no more, this is not a feasible option.
If you run a “join contacts” search on Google Play, you will find some great optimization tools to help you through this process without completely losing your mind! Just go hunting – install one of the tools that are at the top of the search results list. You will thank me later.
Tip #2: Install an interaction launcher - a brand new experience
Lately, I get to see many interesting new tools / apps that are built to optimize our mobile experience around interactions and contacts management. These tools are smart, innovative and fun all along. One great example is our app- drupe - it brings your contacts and apps together to one screen, so you can complete an interaction with a single swipe. Also, you can wake drupe up with one gesture, wherever you are on your mobile. Amazingly enough you can take cross app interact with groups too: send a shared calendar invite, create a conference call or message the group.
Tip #3: Avoid losing contacts – get ready for your factory data reset!
For those of you who are not familiar with the term, factory data reset is an action usually taken when the device is too slow to upload apps, data, when the battery gets wasted too fast or when the experience is just too buggy. This action is done via the device settings and is resulted with a complete clean up of the device data, including all your apps, files and contacts. you end up with a ‘tabula rasa’ device, as if you had just bought it. then comes the resolution, where you reconnect to your accounts and reinstall your apps, hoping to complete the process with a “fixed” and fast working device.
Let’s hope you don’t go through too many of these. But, when the time comes, make sure you are well prepared before you pull the trigger. Backing up your data can be tricky. You can search for “backup” in Google Play and find endless apps that aim to help, but remember: While these apps can access and backup data that’s related to the device’s native (G) apps, they will, most probably, not backup data from 3rd party apps (such as WhatsApp). For that, you will need to rely on backup features that are specific to each app, if they exist (whatsApp for example do offer backup of the data - you just need to configure it within the app)
At this point, I usually choose my battles. I mean, there’s a balance between the need to fully recover such a reset, and the time you invest in the preparations. I do tend to make sure I am fully covered with what’s most important for me. For example, I make sure my important contacts are not saved on the device only, but are also backed up in the cloud. I double check that my contacts have a “Google” icon attached to them. If they don’t, they are at risk of disappearing. To keep it simple, I just go to my native address book>menu >contacts to display, and choose “device”. Then I go over the contacts and make sure each has the “Google” icon as mentioned above. If it’s just a couple of “problematic” contacts, I fix things manually. If it looks like I am having a major problem (some people do if they had configured default saving to be done on the device), I move to use 3rd party backup tools.
To conclude, don’t settle for the default. You can save tons of time and improve the way you interact on your Android device, by exploring advanced tactics and looking for the best 3rd party tools to use. Lucky for us, Android (unlike others) does not block technology, so advanced tools can flourish!