Your Ultimate Contacts Application?

We've got IMAP for email, iCal and other syncing options for calendars, but what about our address books? Most likely you use a combination of proprietary services like Facebook and other social networks, desktop address books, cell phone and webmail contact lists to keep track of who's who in your life, but there's still no easy way to maintain and sync your digital Rolodex wherever you need it.

Now that Google's released the Contacts API—which lets apps easily access your Gmail contacts list—it feels like we're a step closer to the possibility of a central, sync'ed address book. (Though the API uses a Google-specific data format.)

We've published some crazy-ass workarounds for syncing your address book the way you can do email with IMAP, and we've questioned people in charge of these things about possible solutions like LDAP, but so far, nothing feels like an adequate solution.

Do you have trouble keeping track of contacts? What's your dream contact application syncing scenario? Tell us where you'd like to see Google's Contacts API—or just the state of contact management overall—to go from here in the comments.


    The thing that keeps me having to use Outlook rather than any other app is that I can link contacts to appointments and tasks. That way I have a history of all my dealings with someone. Google Calendar does allow me to link my contacts to my appointments without sending them an email. I just want to be able to link the two. And ditto with tasks.

    I keep my address book ( os x ) synced with google, but i would love to be able to fetch all the birthday information from my friendĀ“s facebooks, ( with the option to only add that info from friends in a certain group or network )

    in a dream scenerio, it could add a picture, incase i dont have one already set up, notify me if their number or email changes so i can choose to update it or not.

    and since my ical is already linked to adress book for birthdays, it would ultimately show all my friends bdays on ical. instead of me having to find out hteir birthdays one by one and add them one by one

    There's no single ultimate contacts application. Different applications have different focuses. Gmail and Outlook focus more on Email, social sites focus more on social issues. You won't store the contact info of a bush man in Gmail as he has no Email address, but he still got a residential address or phone number.

    Synchronization is the key. You should find mature solutions to synchronize contact info between PC programs, Web applications, mobile phones and PDA, so you can get the best of all worlds.

    Anyway, you might consider to use one of these programs as primary storage of contact info.

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