contacts

How can I change the background in my phone contacts app?

Samsung Galaxy Note 4

Episode 1220

Gary from Laguna Nigel, CA

Gary just updated to the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 and he likes that he can use a spare button. Leo says that every time he would get a new Note in the past, he would buy extra batteries. He also likes the additional SD card slot for storage. Both are very nice features. Gary loves the Note 4 except for one thing -- when he goes into the contact page, the background color is white, making it harder to see the areas to enter data. Can he change that? Leo says that Samsung may have a dark theme. He should look in the settings for theming capabilities, and change it there.

How can I keep contacts from being added to my phone?

Episode 1211

Rock On from Riverside, CA

Rock On recently had a contact mysteriously show up in her contacts list on her new Android phone. Leo suspects that it's through Google Contacts. If she deletes them from Google contacts, it'll be synced and deleted from her phone as well. It could also be Facebook that's populating her contacts as well. Once that's deleted, it shouldn't come back. She also may want to check with her carrier to see if they're syncing her contacts as well.

How can I sync my contacts to the cloud properly?

Episode 1190

Diana from Laguna Beach, CA

Diana bought a new Apple iPhone 5. The Apple store employee merged her contacts, but every contact in her phone was from iCloud and not her personal contacts. Leo says that's probably true. He assumed that Diana's phone was backed up, and it wasn't. Going forward, Diana should continue to backup to iCloud so if she loses her phone, she'll still have her contacts. She should just clean it up first. Then back up her contacts to the Cloud and have it continue to backup regularly.

Why can't I search through my contacts on my HTC One?

HTC One with Beats audio

Episode 1139

Gary from San Diego, CA

Gary has an HTC One with Beats audio. He has over 5,000 contacts and his phone won't let him search through them. Leo says that's likely because HTC has replaced the Google contacts app with its own, which is a problem. Google has started to release apps like Calendar and Docs on the Google Play store, but hasn't released the contacts yet. They probably won't, since people mostly use the phone's dialer for that.

Why do apps require so much access to my phone?

Apps

Episode 1136

Brian from New Hampshire

Brian doesn't understand why apps ask permission for so much access to his smartphone in order to run. Leo says that while being able to have denied permissions would be nice, it could break the app since most aren't written that way. But Leo believes we'll eventually get there.

In iOS 8, users get the ability to refuse the permission for apps to ask for contacts. But sometimes those permissions need to be given even for basic functions of the app.

Organize iPhone Contacts by Groups

Contacts can be organized into groups on the iPhone or iPad to make them easier to find. However, it may not immediately be obvious that this is possible because Apple still doesn't allow you to create those groups on iOS 7 -- you can only view them. To create groups, you must do it in iCloud or from your computer. Here's how to create groups using both methods:

How do I stop people I don't know from syncing to my contacts?

Episode 1043

Michele from Los Angeles, CA

Michele got a text from someone saying "Merry Christmas" and she has no idea who it is, though he's in her contacts. Leo suggests that it may be someone through social media - via Google+ or Facebook, which can be set up to automatically sync to a contact list. Twitter, Linked In, and Skype may do this as well. Outside of that, Outlook has a setting that automatically adds anyone she would email to her contact list. If she can narrow it down to where these contacts are coming from, then she can disable the sync option to her contacts.

How can I prevent Facebook from using my contacts?

Episode 1032

Robert from Palm Springs, CA

Robert wants to install the Facebook and Twitter apps, but he's worried about the apps having access to his address book. Leo says it's best to just say no to that. The apps should ask beforehand, so he should take his time when he installs, and just say no. Twitter does it different on Android, though. It makes him think the contacts are on Twitter by having a check beside all his addressees. And that can be embarrassing when Twitter is harassing them with emails. That's what happened to Leo.

How can I backup and sync my contacts?

Episode 993

Chris from Frankfort, KY

Chris is having problems with iCloud and his contacts. Leo says he's not a fan of iCloud and prefers Google for that. It can be a bit painful to move to it, but once he does, he'll be better off. Leo advises backing up his contacts, and then exporting them as CSV or VCard format. Then he can import them into Google Contacts. He may end up with duplicates, however, so be ready to clear them and backup every step of the way. Once done, don't sync from multiple sources, just stick with Google.

How can I import contacts from my old Seiko Smart Label Printer to my Google Nexus 7?

Episode 966

Barney from Los Angeles, CA

Barney wants to open the rolodex file he has saved in his old Seiko Smart Label Printer on his Google Nexus 7. Leo says to use the software that the file printer comes with and export it to a standard file format, like comma separated values (CSV). Once he has that file, he can then import them into Google Contacts. Leo also says to go into Google contacts and edit the imported contacts. Then, once done, it'll automatically sync to the Nexus 7.