I got my Galaxy Nexus and now I'm stumped how to get my contacts right? There's no phone book anymore here. These are just my Google contacts of which I have just a handful with phone numbers.

  1. What's the best way to get my phone numbers into those contacts without editing every and single one? So merging phone numbers on my SIM with google contacts.
  2. Add new that are missing in my google contacts but are present on my SIM?

Why can't I have separate phone contacts from Google contacts? And what's the rationale behind the decition they've made with this?

Is it also possible that phone-only contacts (with name of course) woudl not show on my gmail afterwards? I mean on the web. On my computer...

  • 1
    If you'd rather keep your primary Google account separate, why not create a fresh account for use with your phone? That way you'll enjoy the benefit of the cloud to sync/restore your contacts while avoiding "cluttering" your phone. Also, most Samsung phones (non-Nexus) have the ability of adding contacts to the phone alone and NOT sync to Google.
    – Sparx
    Sep 8, 2012 at 16:03

1 Answer 1



The traditional concept of mapping names to numbers which many people know from cell phones doesn't really apply to smartphones. Here the idea is that there is one central instance, the contacts app, that holds information about your contacts and how you can reach them, which could include a phone number but not mandatorily. Often there is also e-mail, third party messaging (whats app), third party VOIP (skype) social (micro) blogs (Twitter, Google+) or various social networks. (Facebook, LastFM, ...).

Use www.google.com/contacts

I recommend to move all information about contacts that is stored on your SIM card to the Google contacts. Furthermore Gmail will only show contacts that have a e-mail address. So there is no need to have something like phone-only contacts.

The cloud idea is to have every piece of data (or information if you want) everywhere available. Why do you want to have some contacts just on one device? I know it's hard for some people that their contact app suddenly shows hundreds of contacts from different sources, but Google/Android provides techniques to deal with that too: Use contacts groups. Most Google software is able to show only certain contact groups (but will run contact searches for the whole contact set).

  • 1
    Ok. This seem reasonable. But what about merging SIM+Google contacts. And you're mentioning Skype ones as well. I have a bunch of Skype contacts many of them with phone number but without Skype account in the first place. Can I sync them into the same list as well? Will I get duplicates? Will it nicely match by something? Sep 8, 2012 at 21:24

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