If you have a Google account then you also have access to the company's Contacts tool that is available as a standalone service but also integrated in web applications such as Gmail.
Google is about to release an update to Google Contacts with the aim to consolidate various contacts databases.
Probably the biggest change in this regard is that the company mixes Google+ contacts in the contacts manager now. While that is not a problem for users who don't use Google+, those who are active on the company's social messaging site may notice an increase in contacts as a consequence of the move.
Update: Google removed the old Google Contacts interface in the meantime. There is no way to go back to it anymore.
If you want to check out the new Google Contacts you can open a preview of it right now in your web browser of choice.
A few pages are displayed to you that highlight several of the new features that the new Google Contacts offers.
Once you have clicked your way through those, you are taken to the main contacts listing. There you notice a sidebar that you use to filter contacts, and that the contacts listing itself has been divided into frequently contacted at the top and all contacts below that.
If you check out the old contacts listing, you will notice that all contacts are lumped together in a single listing.
Each contact is listed with the same information as before. It is possible to hover the mouse over a contact to favorite it, add, modify or remove the Google+ group you have filed the contact in, to delete it completely, to call or email the contact directly, or to check it to display additional options.
One useful option that Google integrated into the new Contacts manager is a duplicate finder and eliminator. Chance is that a list of duplicate contacts is displayed to you on first start automatically.
You can let Google handle the merging or go through each contact individually to make sure the contacts are indeed duplicates.
Another interesting feature integrated into the new manager is that it adds Google profile information automatically to contact information if provided.
This works best if a contact is active on Google and modifies the profile whenever information change.
It is still possible to edit contacts manually to add, edit or remove information.
One thing you may notice is that Google+ pages may also be listed under frequently contacted.
Go back to the old Google Contacts
It is possible to go back to the old Google Contacts. Chance is that this is a temporary option that Google will remove eventually.
To go back do the following:
Doing so loads the old contacts page for now.
Workaround for Google+ circles in the new Google Contacts
There is no option to block Google+ contacts from appearing in the new Google Contacts interface. The only option for now is to modify the "your circles" option on Google+ to uncheck all groups there. Doing so removes them from the new Contacts manager.
Additional information about that are provided on the Google operating system blog.
Additional information about the new Google Contacts are available on the official Gmail blog.
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