Apple Contacts replacement?

So is it just me or is Apple’s Contacts app just terrible? It seems that it hasn’t been touched in years and when I try to do simple things like add a group, it doesn’t seem to work. Exporting is only available via Vcard… etc. Can you use a different contact manager and have it become the central player in mail and such?
asking for a friend. :slight_smile:

I use BusyContacts but I cannot tell you if it’s better than Apple’s Contacts. I’m not a heavy contact management user.

After using various CRM programs including the amazingly powerful C•A•T (Contacts, Activities, Time) by Chang Labs in the 90’s, I switched to BusyContacts (and BusyCal) about 8 years ago and have never looked back. Apple Mail shows in each contacts “Activity” feed which includes past and future events from BusyCal, tasks and tweets. All kept in sync with dedicated iOS BusyCal and Contacts app on iPhone and iPad. I think it is worth a look for any Mac/iOS user seeking steps up from Contacts and Calendar. :smile:

Does it share with family members?

I am still using the Apple app, because I tried a third-party one about 18 months ago, and it inserted a birthday of February 1, 1601 for every contact.


Me too, and agreed.

“You can also share address books with other BusyContacts users with read-only or read/write privileges. Address Books can be shared through Exchange, Fastmail, Kerio, over the LAN, and through other CardDAV servers that support sharing.”

I’ve always disliked Contacts too, and I currently rely on Cardhop from Flexibits. It’s quite different but suffices for nearly everything I want.

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I am frustrated with Contacts too. I have tried Cardhop but found that equally frustrating for different reasons.

All I can suggest is that if you quit Contacts and relaunch it, everything works as expected, at least for a while.

I find it incredible that with the amazing work Apple does with AI in Photos and with their pro tools like FCP, they can’t make Contacts work reliably. Don’t they realise that literally everybody uses that app every day and it doesn’t make people confident in the Apple brand when it simply doesn’t work?

I keep my contacts in Google Contacts.

On my Mac and my iDevices, I created a CardDAV account that syncs with my Google contacts. The Apple Contacts app sees the Google contacts as another source, and those contacts are available via Apple’s apps (mail, FaceTime, Messages, etc.)

You can also do this with the default Google account (which I think uses the IMAP contact mechanism), but I found that CardDAV seems to work better.

I normally don’t edit contacts from the Apple Contacts app. Instead, I go to the Google Contacts web page and make my edits there. They then sync to my Apple stuff.

Good suggestion. Thanks.

I use contacts plus, because it can sync with my office contacts, Mac contacts, and google contacts. It also checks to see when they update their linked in profile and flags it as an update. It also scans in business cards. If you’ve got more than 1000 contacts it’s worth looking into.

I also use Google Contacts as my Truth and sync them to macOS and iOS Contact via the default Google account.

On macos I use the web interface to Gmail and Calendar so the only reason I need to sync Google Contacts to macOS Contacts is for my greeting AppleScript. Unfortunately, in my experience, this doesn’t sync reliably and some failures are completely reproducible. For example, after a contact has been created on Google and synced to macOS without a birthday, adding a birthday in Google will never sync to macOS. I think that syncing has become less reliable as the number of my contacts passed 6K.

On iOS it seems that all my email apps, Spark, Gmail, and Mail—each can do essential things that the others can’t so I use all of them—use iOS Contacts so syncing is very important.

It never occurred to me to sync them via CardDAV. Thank you for the suggestion.

It’s not just you. Apple has been derelict when it comes to a few of their legacy apps, and none more so thatn Contacts. My problem (and others too) are hundreds of duplicated contact groups. NOT CONTACTS — GROUPS.

Apple’s genius bar and call-in support were no help. There are many formum reports of this issue but seemingly no reliable fix.

I would jump to a new contact manager if I thought it was better, more reliable, and updated frequently but the two recommended below the most seem to fail on at least two of these criterion.

I’m open to suggestions or thoughts that I’m wrong.

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I just sent this feedback to Apple through the feedback form for iCloud. Contacts has no feedback option of it’s own.

My partner and I have individual accounts, with our own contacts. A significant group of these are relevant to us both. Unfortunately, there is no adequate solution to share a portion of our contacts, or to add a shared address book. I understand this extra service requires development with the Contacts app and the iCloud service. But I am sure Apple can do this, because Notes and Calendar are shareable without problems. Please add family sharing of contacts to the list of feature requests.

Although it won’t solve the problem as you’d like it solved, another option would be to create a shared address book in a third-party contact service (e.g. a Google account, or most other e-mail providers). Add it to both devices, using the same login credentials on each.

Now you’ve got a shared contacts list. You just need to be careful when adding new contacts that you add it to the correct list.

On iOS, a contact will (I think) be added to whichever list you are viewing when you tap the “+” button. It will go to the default account (as configured in Settings) if you add a contact from the combined “All contacts” view.