I want to disable stock Google Contacts app. I tried using Simple Contacts app. However, the Google Phone app, as Google Messages app, could not access Simple Contacts entries.

How do I use alternatives that replace Google Contacts/Phone/Messages and still interoperate, or is this not even possible?

Android version Oreo. Not rooted and no plans to root.

  • 1
    Actually, after I posted my answer to the title, I have a feeling this might be an XY-problem: did you actually want to avoid using the whole Google account? Or perhaps from the original revision, are you looking for an app suite (a collection of apps) that can use local/private contacts for phone & messaging? I might have misinterpreted the question due to the wording of the title and the question body...
    – Andrew T.
    Oct 31, 2019 at 17:58
  • Simple Contacts is one if the few apps (I know of) which lets you create, delete and use contacts only from the app itself, not making use of Android's standard content provider mechanism as explained by Andrew in answer. AOSP Contacts app (com.android.contacts) is the closest alternative to Google Contacts app (com.google.android.contacts), in fact sharing the same code base for most part. In both cases you will still be using Google account for contacts syncing, but not with Simple Contacts app. Oct 31, 2019 at 18:01
  • Is this the Simple Contacts app that you are referring to? play.google.com/store/apps/… According to the description, it's no longer maintained.
    – Flimm
    Nov 9, 2022 at 10:44

2 Answers 2


In general, 3rd-party contacts apps that have access to the Contacts permission to use the Contacts Provider can be an alternative to Google Contacts (or any other stock contacts apps).

The Contacts Provider is the standard approach to share and use contact info between apps.

The Contacts Provider is a powerful and flexible Android component that manages the device's central repository of data about people. The Contacts Provider is the source of data you see in the device's contacts application, and you can also access its data in your own application and transfer data between the device and online services.

The Contacts Provider will interact with the system app Contacts Storage, which is independent of any contacts apps. So, even though the user uninstalls/disables all their contacts apps, the contact info is still stored on the Contacts Storage and can be read by other apps like phone apps, messaging apps, email apps, etc.

So, any famous & reliable 3rd-party contacts apps that request access to the Contacts permission should be feasible as an alternative to Google Contacts.

In the case of Simple Contacts app, it actually has the Contacts permission, and any contacts that are created from this app to a registered account on Contacts Provider can also be accessed by other apps.

On the other hand, the app also allows the contact to be saved on "Phone storage (not visible by other apps)". Based on its source code, this is actually another way to store contacts by using their own local database, which other apps do not know about its existence and do not have permission to access it, thus the contacts cannot be read.

In conclusion, the Simple Contacts app is actually a feasible alternative* for Google Contacts.

*Tested by creating 2 contacts; one with the answerer's Google account which then can be read by Google Messages, another with the phone storage which cannot be accessed by Google Messages.


First step: Save your contacts. You should be able to do this through your mobile phone contacts application (export to .cvc file).

Your contacts are probably saved on Google Contacts, so you can also open your email, click on the sandwich menu top right, check the “export” option.

The point is, be very sure that you exported your contacts and stored them somewhere safe.

Second step: Order the contacts Your contacts should be saved in a single neat .cvc file. So, if you have more than one file (for example, downloading multiple contact sheets from multiple google accounts), you should merge them and have a single neat .cvc file.

How? On Ubuntu, I downloaded “vCard studio”, opened and merged several sheets and ended up with one. I also downloaded “Evolution”, then opened that same sheet and saved it as it is (somehow the vCard studio format wasn’t good for the steps afterwards).

Third step: Download the good apps On F-droid (it is an open source app store, if you do not have it download it) download:

  • DAVx → this is a software which enables synchronization from your phone to your server (cloud)
  • Simple Contacts Pro SE (by Stephan Ritscher, it is a fork of simple contacts app developed by Tibor Kaputa) → this app supports synchronization, it will be your contact book.

Fourth step: Open your framagenda account framagenda.org offers you an account of 15MB for free. This is more than enough to synchronize your entire contact book:)

Once you opened your account, you will have your cloud.

Fifth step: connect everything Go on DAVx app. Check the “login with URL and user name”. In “base url”, start typing framagenda and select the option that pops up. Your username and password are those that you used to open your framagenda.org account (your username should be your email).

Once it connects, make sure the app is connecting your contacts (swipe “Contacts” so that it toggles orange).

You can test this. If you go on framagenda.org, on the menu dedicated to contacts, try creating a test contact. Then, open your phone, and check the contacts app we downloaded. You should see it there. It should also work the other way around (but on the phone app, make sure you save the contacts not on google drive, but on framagenda. This is the last field on the contact).

Sixth step: the point of no return (not true but I wanted something sounding drastic) Delete all your contacts and disable the normal contact book app. They might interfere and we need a blank slate to start the synchronization process. Your new contact book app will be the one downloaded (simple contacts pro se). Even if you delete your contacts, you have them backed up.

Seventh step: upload your contacts on framagenda You will see, on your account on framagenda.org, that there is a “Contacts” tab. Check the sandwich menu, then “Contacts settings”, and “import contacts”. There, you will be able to import the neat .cvs file that you prepared.


  • on framagenda.org, you might want to delete all of your contacts, and do the import again. You have to go on the address books again, but if you only have one address book, you cannot delete it. You need to first create another address book (give it any name then click on the arrow), then you can delete the first contact book.
  • on simple contacts pro se app, on your phone, when you create a new contact, you need to make sure to save it in a way that it connects to the framagenda server, not to a google account. You can choose this by sliding to the last field.

Eight step: Google good bye Go on google drive, go to the google contact app, check all your contacts, delete them.

Take a step back. Breath deeply. You made it.

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