Android Enthusiast
Nov 29, 2011
Specs: AT&t Galaxy S2 i777 with android 4.04.

I am not sure what is causing the problem, but all of the sudden the CONTACTS app is acting up. It is showing contacts from my phone and synced google account at the same time, which results in multiple identical entries. Also, the AT&T address book bugs me to sync it every time I use the Contacts app (even after I have synced it multiple times. The main problem seems to be that both the local contacts stored on my phone and the contacts synced with my google account want to be displayed at the same time. Now I can go into setting and change the "Contacts to Display" to one or the other and it will do it, but once I close the app and reopen it, it goes back to displaying both of them again. As a result of this, it makes voice dial totally useless, because when I try, it just comes back and say, "Multiple Contacts Found". Since the contacts are identical, there is no voice command that you can say to get the voice dialer to choose one or the other, so you have to get you phone out and manually select one, which defeats the purpose of the voice dial function. I did a factory reset on my phone, but the problem persist.

My questions are, can I fix this problem, or should I look for a better contacts manager? Thanks.
Delete your phone contacts or merge them with your Google contacts.

To merge your contacts, you must do the contact merge one by one. Then in the future, add all new contacts as Google contacts.
So what your are saying is, the problem I am experiencing is not a glitch, but rather an intentional move by Google to force me to store all my information exclusively on their servers. Sorry, not going to happen. All my other phones gave me the option of which contacts to display. If this is Google' s move I'm jumping off the android ship. I value freedom; not forced corporate slavery. This was why I hate everything apple, now you are telling me that google is doing it too. Now I am ticked!
You can store all of your contacts on your phone. Then don't let your phone sync your contacts from Gmail.

You have a choice. Simply thought from your post that using Google to sync your contacts was preferred.
Thanks. I was not upset at you for what you said, I am upset with Google. Here of late they have been very forceful about making people do things they way they want you to do things, especially when comes to pulling you into google+.

But back to the question. One of the first things I did was turn off contact syncing with my Gmail account, but the problem persist.
Okay. Now I am really freaked out! I have been carefully going through my contacts deleting them one by one. I did not notice this before this but I have hundreds of contacts that I never put in my address book. I am not talking about people from my Facebook or Skype accounts. If it from those accounts, I could understand how they could be in my Google account because I use it for both Facebook and Skype. But the people that showed up in my contact list after syncing with my Google account are people that I have not seen or talked to since the 1980s. Althoug it was just names with not actual data like numbers and email addresses, some of these people were stone age Amazon indians that never had any kind of digital foot print and died in the 90s. How did their names and the names of their kids end up in my address book? This is really scaring me. How did all off my great-nieces and nephews, some of which are babies end in there too?
I found where all the extra contacts came from and it is kind of scary. All the extra contacts came from my Google account. I looked at my Google Dashboard and found all these extra contacts under the "other" category. What scares me is that most of these contacts that are in there were people that I have not seen for decades, never talk to, do not even have a computer, phone, email address, facebook etc, and some of which are dead. My question is now, how the heck did google get this information. I could understand if it were from my facebook contacts, but how did Google the name of a primitive amazon Indian that I talked to in the 1980s? Not only would I like to know how they got this info, but how they associated me with this guy and why they put him in my contacts list. I know google is an information gathering machine, but this is ridiculous!
I know, I know!

*waves hand frantically*

Because you told Google to do it.

Here's what I discovered. I opened my contacts in gmail and found about 15 addresses that looked a little familiar and realized that they are people I had emailed. Since I don't use gmail as my primary email address, my list was short. I would guess you do use gmail a good bit to send emails hence your longer list.

In the gmail contacts list click on settings (gear icon) in the upper right and scroll down the page until you see:

Create contacts for auto-complete:

  • When I send a message to a new person, add them to Other Contacts so that I can auto-complete to them next time
  • I'll add contacts myself

I'll bet the first option is checked. Check the second one and it will stop that nonsense.

Do I get a cookie for figuring that out? ;) :D
Well, that may be correct in the regards that by simply using a google product, they assume that that gives them the right to own all your information and that is the cost we pay for using their products; but connecting me with primitive person with zero digital footprint that I have not seen or talked to for 30 years goes way beyond the information gathering google needs for advertising and marketing. This is more like CIA or Interpol style information gathering and I certainly did not ask or give google permission to do that.