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List contacts alphabetically by last name?


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  1. vwstreetrod

    vwstreetrod Member This Topic's Starter

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    My HTC Hero lists my contacts alphabetically by first name. Short of inputting them last name first, can they be listed first name first and still come alphabetized by last name? i.e. Bill Smith before Ken Sorels and still be in a group with other people with "S" last names? Is this a procedure problem or is their an app for this?
     

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  2. odhinn

    odhinn Well-Known Member

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    I've been looking for a way to do this on my N1 also, but no luck so far. All my phones so far have been last name first so finding people on my N1 is a bit annoying.
     
  3. InstantKarma

    InstantKarma Well-Known Member

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    Nope, to the best of my knowledge you'll have to input them as Lastname comma Firstname.

    That's what I did, but then I don't have a huge contact list.
     
  4. alostpacket

    alostpacket Over Macho Grande? VIP Member

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    It's partially because Gmail has only a single name field and not a first and last name. However it would not be impossible to sort the list based on a guess of what the last name is by breaking up the names by any space in the name. What are you looking to do with the list? Just look at it/edit/interact with it like the regular contacts list? The next feature I have coming to my app is going to involve a list of contacts, I'll look into possible ways of sorting it, or having it work like a regular contact whom you could click to call/sms. This feature probably wont be out for a couple weeks though.
     
  5. vwstreetrod

    vwstreetrod Member This Topic's Starter

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    Yes, I just want to go down my contacts list and get to all the people that have the same letter starting their last name. Sort of old-school like a Roll-a-dex does.
     
  6. (G)

    (G) Well-Known Member

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    Hear hear. Me, too.
     
  7. wmm

    wmm Well-Known Member

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    Recent versions of Windows Mobile address this problem by actually having two fields in the Contacts entries: the "Name" and a "File as" field that is used for sorting. The user can set the latter any way he/she wants, but it defaults to the presumed "last name, first name" form of what is in the "Name" field. That makes it flexible enough to deal with names in cultures like Chinese and Korean where the surname is always first and no inversion is needed.
     
  8. SoonerLater

    SoonerLater Well-Known Member

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    Actually that's not true, although it seems that way. Gmail presents names in a single box, but if you click on the edit button (marked by an ellipsis "...") then you see that it actually is concatenating five fields: Prefix, First, Middle, Last and Suffix. And if you export your contacts (as a comma delimited file), you'll see that Google actually supports many other name fields:


    Name
    Given Name
    Additional Name
    Family Name
    Yomi Name
    Given Name Yomi
    Additional Name Yomi
    Family Name Yomi
    Name Prefix
    Name Suffix
    Initials
    Nickname
    Short Name
    Maiden Name

    Google is organizing the data under the hood in ways that aren't obvious to most users. It does appear to be shoved into a single name field, but it's only presented that way. Export your contacts to a CSV, edit them in Excel, then re-import them. Google will still show them how Big G wants to show them.

    Sorry for the bump, but I'm still searching for a way to solve the original problem: listing contacts by last name in an Android phone. Actually, I'd like to switch back and forth between alphabetized by first name and by last name depending on whom I'm looking for.
     
  9. alostpacket

    alostpacket Over Macho Grande? VIP Member

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    Heh, wow old thread. Pretty sure they revamped the whole contact section of google voice/gmail, in the past year so yeah...


    Anyways, I never got around to that feature and instead added search (and like 100 other features). Sorry. To me search is the superior solution to finding contacts though. And if you dont like the keyboard you should try Google Gesture Search. It's pretty awesome.

    Hope that's at least a little bit helpfull.
     
  10. SoonerLater

    SoonerLater Well-Known Member

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    Wow! Great find. Thanks!


    Actually, Google has been organizing data "under the hood" like I described for years, but you'd never know unless you were to export your data and then examine it.

    The Google-Borg... resistance is futile.
     
  11. alostpacket

    alostpacket Over Macho Grande? VIP Member

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    Oh believe me, I know -- the Android Contacts API for programmers (called ContactsContract -- seriously who thinks of a name like that) is more painful than a root canal and prostate exam while hungover on a flight to Bombay, in coach. And dont get me started on their CSV format vs MS Outlook's !

    :)
     
  12. Diabo

    Diabo Well-Known Member

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    Google indeed organizes data under the hood, often in a way that screws up the data.

    For example, when I enter contacts with two first names on my phone (Maria Carmen, John Paul, etc.), sync with google, and then sync it back to my phone, the second first name ends up in the middle name field.

    And because the contacts list only displays first and last names, the difference between Maria and Maria Carmen becomes invisible unless I tap the name to see the full record.


    Double last names are split into last name and name suffix upon syncing.

    It gets even worse if you add non-name data in the first name field. A first name like "KLM ticket office" syncs back and forth to KLM (first name), ticket (middle name), office (family name).

    And it gets really annoying if you sync "Alfredo's Pizza (open 'till 3 am)" to google and back to your phone. You'll end up with something like "am)" as first name (since it's not listed under A anymore you'd think you lost the contact!), and most of the other parts of the entry end up in fields that are not displayed in the contacts list.

    Syncing addresses goes wrong too. When I send my contacts list to google and then back to my phone, the entire address ends up in the street name field. Google also doesn't seem to understand that the position of house number and zip code depends on the country. For example, it's
    "2e Jacob van Kampenstraat 13, 1069XX Amsterdam,"
    vs.
    "42 Leister Square, London WC1 6XX,"
    and
    "666, 42nd St, New York, NY 10001."

    Google just assumes that all addresses worldwide follow the american number/street/city/state/zip sequence. There are over 6 billion reasons why that is not a good idea.


    Which leads to the next question: is there a contacts/dialer app replacement that doesn't have these issues? My address book is full of people from all over the world, so I'm looking for a contacts app that knows how to deal with different formats for names and addresses.
     
  13. alostpacket

    alostpacket Over Macho Grande? VIP Member

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    Well google does have differenmt rules for different locales but they assume all of your contacts fit mostly within the locale you live in.

    As for replacement apps I think you would have to try them out and see. Some would be good, some not.

    Some of the problems are because of the underlying database structures in android's ContactsContract API. So if an app is merely just showing you the info with a different skin, you'll have many of the same problems. If an app sets up it's own DB and account, you probably wont be able to sync anything with Google/gmail etc.

    So give a few a try I would say, but back up your contacts 1st and see how it goes.
     
  14. Diabo

    Diabo Well-Known Member

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    Classic programming mistake. If you assume that you know what your customer wants then you're usually wrong. A one-size-fits-all solution doesn't fit anyone.

    For example, in europe the way we write down addresses varies wildly per country. Driving a mere hundred miles can bring you to three or four different countries, each with their own way of formatting addresses.

    And there's no need to guess. If you enter the country name for your contact in your address book google should know how the address should be formatted.
     
  15. manderle

    manderle Well-Known Member

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    I know this doesn't solve the problem but I have found that using Fast Call at least let's me quickly go to a particular contact. It's still be first name but the interface sports a alphabetic pad to quickly go to the starting letter, definately faster than the built in contact app

    Fast Call
     
  16. lennyjew

    lennyjew Well-Known Member

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    I don't know if it's a fix addressed by gingerbread or by CM7 ROMs, but in the CM7 GB ROM for my eris there's an option to sort by last name and another to show last name first.
     
  17. takeshi

    takeshi Well-Known Member

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    I have the option in Bugless Beast as well. It may be something from Gingerbread.
     
  18. rcubed

    rcubed Well-Known Member

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    This is how I did it on my incredible. In the contact, choose Edit, then select the one you want (phone, google, etc.). Tap the name bar at the top where you can enter the name. The next screen has an dropdown box for how you want to display the name.
     
  19. funpig

    funpig Well-Known Member

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    I wonder if this would be a work around. Convert your gmail contacts to a csv file. Edit the file with excel; specifically swap the first name column with the last name column and rename the columns (so that the last names of your contacts are all under "first name", etc). Delete your old gmail contacts and import your edited csv list. Then your last names will be displayed as first names.
     

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