Say goodbye to the old Google Contacts interface - gHacks Tech News

Say goodbye to the old Google Contacts interface

Google announced yesterday that it will shut down the old (classic) Google Contacts interface on February 12, 2019.

Google customers who are still using the old interface on that day will be moved to the new Contacts interface automatically according to the company.

Google launched an updated version of Contacts in 2015 to "provide a modern, smart, and quick contact management experience" and offered it as a preview for existing customers.

Google customers could activate the Contacts Preview option in the sidebar on the Contacts website to switch to the new layout and version of Contacts, and return to the classic version by activating "switch to old version" in the new interface.

The classic interface looked like this:

google contacts old

The new interface looks like this instead. It

new interface

Google customers who use the Contacts Preview already won't notice any changes in the coming months. Those who are still on the classic Contacts site will be moved to the new design.

new contacts admins

The company revealed the following timeline for the change:

  • November 28, 2018: Google Suite admins could use a checkbox to enable the preview version of Contacts for users. The setting changes on November 28, 2018 to set a default version of Contacts. The current setting determines the new default. Admins can configure the option under  Apps > G Suite > Directory > Sharing settings > Contacts Preview.
  • January 15, 2019: All Google Contacts users are moved to the new Contacts version. It is still possible to opt-out and return to the classic version of Contacts at this point in time.
  • February 12, 2019: All users who are still using the old Contacts interface are moved to the new version of Contacts automatically. An option to return to the classic version of Contacts won't be provided anymore at this point in time. The classic version of Contacts is shut down.

Closing Words

Google will shut down the classic Contacts design in the coming months; I never used it and have no intention to use the new "modern" version of Contacts either. I'd like to hear from you about the change, what is your take on it?

Say goodbye to the old Google Contacts interface
Article Name
Say goodbye to the old Google Contacts interface
Google announced yesterday that it will shut down the old (or classic) Google Contacts interface on February 12, 2019.
Ghacks Technology News

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  1. Anonymous said on November 2, 2018 at 2:21 pm


    Friends (4)
    Family (1)


    Friends (1)
    Family (0)

  2. Anon Mous said on November 2, 2018 at 3:06 pm

    Years after its first debut, I still hate how Material design makes everything huge and fat for sausage fingers, even on non-touch desktop.

    1. Yuliya said on November 2, 2018 at 3:44 pm

      Everything is “huge and fat for sausage fingers” on phones. I had to go to developer settings to make everything at a sane size, the lowest level allowed normally is still far too large. These developers are assuming everyone is two metres wide I guess.

      1. John Fenderson said on November 2, 2018 at 8:33 pm

        Yep. I’m afraid we’re going to have to put up with the Material Design nonsense for a while. Eventually, though, I think the industry will move on to the next fad.

    2. Sidney Ferreira de Moraes Neto said on November 3, 2018 at 8:36 pm

      You made me laugh so hard!

  3. o_O said on November 2, 2018 at 4:36 pm

    So I’m now getting 40% less useful screen space… due to this bloat, desktop/laptop users are treated like niche-tablet users, can we have our usability back? Especially poor people forced to use 16:9 laptops – scrolling endlessly.

    1. Peterc said on November 3, 2018 at 3:48 pm

      Yes, unless the only thing you do on your laptop is watch 16:9 HD video in full screen, the extra vertical space provided by a 16:10 ratio is extremely useful. After all, menus, toolbars, tab bars, and the like take up a more or less fixed amount of vertical real estate if they are to remain legible and usable, leaving what space remains for content. The taller the screen, the more room for content. Score one for Macbooks. And Microsoft went 3:2 with their tiny Surfaces — a smart choice. Even though I watch a fair amount of video, I actually miss the old 4:3 ratio for text-document work. The solution with modern-day 16:9 laptops is to hook them up to a big external monitor. Your barista might look at you funny when you pull it out of your enormous backpack and put it on the table at your local coffee shop, though…

  4. Trice said on November 2, 2018 at 6:30 pm

    I’ve used Google Contacts for a long time and switched to the new version once it was available. It’s fine, nothing great. I haven’t really searched for or found alternatives.

    The one feature I really wish it offered was the ability to share or co-manage contacts for regular (non G-Suite) users – similar to how you can share and/or grant editing permissions for a calendar. It would really be great in a family situation.

  5. mike90000 said on November 3, 2018 at 12:45 am

    Fortunately I only use Google Contacts on one account specifically for syncing / controlling what appears in my Android phone.

    Agree about the dev-child Material ‘Design’ stoopid template, but I wonder if the excessive white space is just Googles choice. I saw a similar trend in GTK+3 but some designers can be pursuaded to tone down the white space.

    And despite the wasteful desktop, my phone still is not (my) human finger friendly. Tiny buttons, arrghh ………..

  6. Anonymous said on November 3, 2018 at 4:13 am

    what is the best free contact management than googel contact.

  7. Pierre said on November 3, 2018 at 12:29 pm

    One of my main tools
    I have just switched to the new interface after reading your article
    Same kind of interface as the agenda
    More modern
    Anyway there is no choice

  8. Peterc said on November 3, 2018 at 3:00 pm

    Where are Groups in the new UI?

  9. RB said on November 3, 2018 at 5:01 pm

    Some developer created a contact list format that looks like a cartoonist game for their five-year-old child. Google is pandering to some perceived set of mobile device users without thought to PC users. This is a disaster to a user with a long set of contacts and manages the contact list on a PC with a high res monitor – it totally negates large-screen capability. I challenge anyone with a small screen mobile device to manage a large list of contacts that is categorized into multiple groups.

  10. Lesie said on November 3, 2018 at 6:08 pm

    This kind of interface really infuriating. There are too many white spaces or too much padding.

  11. Farmers said on November 3, 2018 at 10:01 pm

    You still have to revert to the old interface if you want import contacts. I assume they will have this up and working on the new interface before the shutdown?

  12. Ivan said on November 5, 2018 at 9:50 am

    I don’t trust Google with my contacts and run CardDAV on my NAS.

  13. Peterc said on November 6, 2018 at 4:28 am

    I went off on a tangent about display ratios in my previous comment, but I do have something to say about the subject at hand. I don’t think I’ve thought a single thing Google has done with their apps over the past six or so years has been an improvement. From Gmail to Maps to Calendar and now to Contacts, the UI has gotten simpler (dumber) and less useful. The New Google Calendar doesn’t even work in Pale Moon, at least not in *my* configuration. (I can’t add or edit appointments — I have to fire up another browser.)

    Hopefully, people who use only smartphones and tablets are happy with the changes. And to be fair, it’s understandable that a company as small and cash-strapped as Google just doesn’t have the resources to maintain a separate, *good* interface for the tiny number of remaining desktop/laptop users with full-size screens and physical keyboards. I mean, there can’t be more than a billion of us left, right? /s

  14. Ezra Mandel said on December 7, 2018 at 1:21 am

    Good article, although you should warn everybody that unlike the old version, the new Contacts Preview can only handle 10 email addresses per contact. There is no warning so if you enter more than 10, they don’t show up next time you open the contact.

  15. V.L. Rice said on January 18, 2019 at 2:38 am

    Google NEVER notified this Google User they would be changing Google Contacts nor was this Google user given the OPTION to OPT out of the newer version of Google Contacts. POOF Gone, no option to turn on the OLDER version of Google Contacts as of (3) days ago. Google did the same thing when they ENDED Google Notebook. Bottom line Google THINKS they KNOW what Google users WANT and simply do NOT ask us, the Google users what we want!

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