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Please help me understand linked contacts

Discussion in 'Android Lounge' started by Car Guy, Oct 25, 2010.

  1. Car Guy

    Car Guy Newbie
    Thread Starter

    OK, I've searched the net and the forum and have found people with contacts linked multiple times etc.

    But I would like to know exactly what linked contacts are.

    I have several linked and do not know how or what they are linked to. Some are my Facebook friends, and I understand that, but I have several that only have a name & phone number, and I'm not "socially" connected in any other way. How are those linked?

    I notice that some of these show mu email address at the top of the screen when I click on "Linked Contact", some say;

    Tom Jones

    Tom Jones

    What does that mean?

    Somebody please explain what all this means.


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  2. copestag

    copestag Android Expert

    linked contacts are multiple contact entries for the same person....

    in other words... you have a google tom jones and a facebook tom jones..... they are seperate contact entries.... but they are linked because they are the same person

    to understand why or what linked is first you have to take into account why there are different types of entries..... google contacts, phone contacts, facebook contacts....... this has to do with the source from which the entry was made

    in other words.... if you enter a contact manually on your phone......... and that same person (same exact name) is already a facebook friend..... when you sync your facebook contacts its going to create a new contact entry for that person....... now you have 2 tom jones.... 1 is phone contact... 1 is a facebook contact.....

    the phone will link these 2 together since they are the same person.... just different contact entries..... so when you edit one youre seeing both..... when you open your contacts youll only see 1 tom jones in the list.... because the 2 different contact entries are linked...... if they werent linked you could have 10 different listings that are all the same person...... and youd have to edit each one seperately everytime tom forgets to pay his bill and has to change his phone number...... or say when you want to send a text message in your app of choice like handcent or whatever.....in the TO: you can just type a persons name T O M then it will give you a list of toms in your contacts to choose from.... if you had 3 toms and they all had 10 different contact entries then the list would be 30 long.... vs being linked entries the list is only 3 long

    there are of course other reasons why its beneficial...... but this is the most obvious and easiest to understand..... which assumes my babbling is understandable to begin with lol
    RBKTitan and Car Guy like this.
  3. Car Guy

    Car Guy Newbie
    Thread Starter

    Thank you for explaining that to me.

    One more question.

    One contact for example, shows 2 linked contacts, Google & Phone. That would mean when I synced my phone with Outlook after my phone synced with Gmail,, yes? And what does it mean when I click on the "Add link contact" and it shows my contact list, am I some how linking with, or to another person?

    Thanks again
  4. Phone contacts stay on your phone, Google contacts get synced with Gmail. So if you have a contact with a google and phone contact linked, that means you probably entered it as a phone contact, but now it will also sync. There is no worries, having it linked means nothing other than that.
  5. Car Guy

    Car Guy Newbie
    Thread Starter

    OK, I got the links with my entering the contact and Facebook & Google, I don't understand the linking to another contact. If I link Tom Jones to another contact, Tom Jones does not show in my contact list, but shows as a link in the other person's contact. Why would I link like that?
  6. The whole point of linking is to link the same person's contacts, not to other people. yes, you can link Tom to Fred, but then you will only see either Tom or Fred, not both. The whole point is if you have a phone number for Tom, a Facebook for Tom, and a Twitter for Tom. Instead of having three Tom's listed for each of those, you link them together, so you only have one Tom, with all the contact info in it.
    RBKTitan and Car Guy like this.
  7. Car Guy

    Car Guy Newbie
    Thread Starter

    OK, I'll go with what I understand so far.

    Still trying to get the most out of my new phone.

    Thanks again to both of you
  8. HazemBata

    HazemBata Lurker

    Hi Fellas,

    I am new to the forums and Android. I just got a Droid X a few days ago. I love the phone and the OS but I have a major concern.

    Because of the nature of my work I have a lot of contacts. I didn't understand why some would show up on the phone but not gmail, and so on. But after reading this thread, I understand.

    My goal is this - to have a unified list of contacts. I want all my contacts to be available on the phone, gmail, facebook or otherwise, regardless of how I enter the contact. I just want one list, automatically, all the time. It is very annoying when I am trying to email a contact that I know have who isn't showing up because I didnt enter his/her info on the right device. Sounds like Microsoft.

    Any way I can do this? Is it a "settings" issue? Is there an app for it?

    Thank you.


    Very Frustrated
  9. Fiezta

    Fiezta Well-Known Member

    Yes, I think my Nexus one also came with this feature before but ever since I got it back from being factory reset, it is no longer there. I called the support today and they asked me to go into my google contact and merge my entire duplicate contacts...I try to do this but it is still not working for me. I went into contacts and under it I picked find and merge all duplicate contacts…at first it says find 1670 contacts and successfully merge contacts but when I click on my contacts and I still see lot of duplicates. I tried again but it tells me no duplicates…but when I merge them manually and individually, it merged…I have about 26000 contacts and about 5000 are duplicates, so there is no way I am going to sit in front of my pc and merge them manually (lol)

    Since google and support cannot help me, I wonder if there is any 3rd party apps on the market that link merge multiple contacts. Or where do I go under settings to turn these features back on. Thanks and God bless…I am hoping to get a detailed explanation on how to do this just like how you took your time explaining the mechanism behind “linking” contacts

  10. Joemike79

    Joemike79 Lurker


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