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Support Using a second Contact App to hide contacts from WhatsApp?

Discussion in 'Android Help' started by Rover_01, May 12, 2016.

  1. Rover_01

    Rover_01 Lurker
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    Hi,

    I am looking for recommendation and comment from this forum.

    Since WhatsApp, Viber, and others use the Contact list to make connections with the other party. This can clutter my Samsung Galaxy Edge's contact list and also exposing some of the number to these companies.

    Is it possible to move those that are not involve in these apps to a secondary Contact App? In this way the default Cotnact contains those that are involved in WhatsApp and Viber. Kind of limiting the exposure of the contacts to these apps.

    The secondary Contact does not need any fancy feature such as sync with the Cloud. But it should be not accessible or unknown to WhatsApp or Viber or others of this kind.

    Any suggestions? Thanks

    Rover
     

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  2. Hadron

    Hadron  
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    The problem is that the contacts are not the property of the contacts app, but are stored in a system database. So what you seem to want is a second contacts app that uses a separate database. The catch there is that you presumably do want your phone dialer, SMS and email apps to know about these contacts, and they will only know about the system database.

    If it was just the clutter, my suggestion would be to create a contact group, stick your Viber/WhatsApp-only contacts in that, then set your contacts app to not display that group. I don't have a solution to your other concern though.
     
  3. Rover_01

    Rover_01 Lurker
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    Hi Hardon,

    Thanks for your contribution. All I want the secondary contact app to do is to be able to dial and compose good old SMS, if necessary. No e-mail or other fancy operations. Yes, a separate database would be nice because app with that kind of design usually allowing one to take the data with them when moving. It could even be a back up Contact app with the ability to access the dialer.

    I have groups in the Contact but that is merely for visual presentation & filtering. It does not prevent WhatsApp/Viber or whatever app from uploading/accessing the entire contacts to its server. My aim is to limit these apps' access to the Contact list while I am happy to keep the others in a separate db. I understand these app like Signal does not have its Contact list (unlike Skype) and to interact with someone one has to add that number to the contact list. They usually uses the name of the contact for presentation.

    The other purpose of the secondary contact app is to act like archive of phone numbers so that I can move (even manually) from the main Contact to the secondary app for keeping.

    To app developer: This is a neat features to incorporate into.

    Thanks.

    Rover
     
  4. Hadron

    Hadron  
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    My point wasn't that a secondary database would be desirable, it was that I think it would be necessary for what you want. All apps that use contacts (the contacts app itself, the dialer, any messaging or email apps, PIM apps, whatever) all access the system contacts database - they don't ask the contacts app for the information, they ask the database. So any contacts app that uses the standard database will still see the WhatsApp/Viber contacts, and those apps will still have access to any contacts it has. So the only way you can have a contacts app that doesn't see the WhatsApp/Viber contacts, and where they don't see its contacts, is if it doesn't use the system database. And the problem with that is that your dialer, SMS and email apps do use the system database, so they won't know about any contacts that are only known to this hypothetical secondary app (in fact your dialer and contacts apps are probably just different entry points to the same app).

    In MarshMallow you could presumably block Viber/WhatsApp/etc from having any access to your contacts, but I don't know whether they can maintain their own contacts separately from the main database, so that might not work at all. I don't have any of these apps myself, so can't test it (I also don't have Marshmallow, but I am rooted so can block application permissions using App Ops).
     
  5. Rover_01

    Rover_01 Lurker
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    Hi Hadron,

    Thanks for the very useful information. Is there any api to drive the Dialer rather than having it to access the contact database? Any good source of info to play around with the Dialer?

    As said we don't need e-mail access. I rarely add a number to my Contact when composing messages (SMS) to recipient I do not have desire to interact regularly. So surely there can be way to invoke or to pass across to the message editor a number or numbers that aren't in the contact or system database.

    For example in using the phone, one could look up a contact via the Contact, which naturally enumerate through the database, and then one can press the number to dial.

    Equally in a long about way one could paste that number into the Dialer to dial out. Surely the dialer when used in this fashion does not access the database. It may access the history of the recently dialed number.

    Is the history raided by WhatsApp/Viber too?

    An independent portable database is also ideal when moving phones.

    Rover
     

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