Google spruces up Gmail's contacts

We love Gmail. It's our lifeline. But there are a few major hangups that cause us to bang our heads against the wall day after day. One is the lack of a proper IMAP idle process for true push support and proper use of labels on Windows phones. (Yeah, there are decent third-party solutions out there. We're talking about native, out-of-the-box push e-mail.)

The other issue is contacts, which Google finally is starting to address. From the official Gmail blog:

Up until now, Gmail only supported some contact fields. Whenever someone imported their contacts from apps like Outlook and OS X Address Book, we used to put fields Gmail didn't recognize into the contact's notes section. Based on feedback from you, we added support for more contact fields (like birthday and website) and now store each of these fields separately, which makes syncing and round-tripping your data work better.

There you have it. We're getting there. Still not perfect, but better. (Insert "beta" joke here.)

Phil is the father of two beautiful girls and is the Dad behind Modern Dad. Before that he spent seven years at the helm of Android Central. Before that he spent a decade in a newsroom of a two-time Pulitzer Prize-finalist newspaper. Before that — well, we don't talk much about those days. Subscribe to the Modern Dad newsletter!

  • Nice, but would be better if having the birthday entry actually did something, like show up in a calendar. An anniversary entry is still missing. What's really needed is integration between these date entries and the calendar app, like with Outlook...
  • Hotmail's contact and calendar can do this. It has been syncing well with Outlook for a while now.
  • Seconded. Keeping my contacts in and seeing birthdays in is really useful!
  • actually, other dates (such as anniversary) are available. under the birthday field, click add -> date. select whatever occasion that date represents (i.e. anniversary).
  • Guys and Gals: Do remember that you are looking a gift horse in the mouth. It is free, free, free which is what all of us like so very, very much about Google!
  • great...i just imported all my contacts into my 2nd gmail account. does anyone know if there's a a way to export all your contacts from outlook so that all fields are covered...but it was also export the contact picture as well?