I thought managing contacts in Android would be the easiest of tasks, but I have found myself in doubt now that I have an Android phone running Android OS 2.3.6 (Gingerbread).

If I file a contact under "Phone", I can search it and group it, but it is not synced to Google.

If I file a contact under "Google", its synced but it is not groupable (from the phone) and sometimes searches skip it (depends on whether it is in Google+ Circles or filed under "My Contacts").

How is filing a contact under "Phone (Google)" different from the others?

  • It is possible to group google contacts
    – Flow
    Nov 15, 2012 at 7:51

2 Answers 2


Adding a Contact under Google lets you sync it with your Google account. I'm also able to add a group to a Contact, which is also synced with the Google account.

However, I'm no longer using the stock Contact app. Instead, I'm using TouchPal Contacts, which allows me to hide contacts without a phone number, something the stock app doesn't have.

  • I am able to hide contacts without phone number in the stock app, perhaps you should recheck?
    – Severo Raz
    Nov 17, 2012 at 2:10

Which version of Android is this? I see no such menu in my phone. There's only SIM storage, which should never be used except to import old contacts, phone storage which should only be used when you don't want your phone to be linked to an online address book, and synced storage which is usually Google account but other apps that are installed on the phone might also provide facility for their address book.

Phone storage, Google Contact synced storage, and Google+ synced storage provides grouping ability. Availability of grouping for third party synced storage depends on their implementation. Contacts from multiple address book providers can be joined into a single entry, so it can be used as a workaround to group contacts when the third party address book provider doesn't provide grouping facility of their own.

Yes, contact management in Android can be a bit complicated, but that's because it's trying to solve a bigger problem, which is that most people have multiple address books with overlapping contacts. For example, I have Google Contacts, Hotmail, Yahoo, Skype, and WhatsApp. The ability to manage them from a single app, and join contacts from different address book providers is just ingenious.

  • I have now (as per your request) specified the OS my device has installed: Android OS 2.3.6 (Gingerbread)
    – Severo Raz
    Sep 16, 2012 at 5:44

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