Over the past few years, Google has been spending a lot of time refreshing their web applications with new designs and new features. But one area of their web services that has been long neglected, at least until now, is Google Contacts.
Today Google has announced a complete overhaul of their contacts manager, accessible right now as a preview version. Like many of Google's recently-refreshed apps, the new Google Contacts comes with a "fresh look and feel" that will be familiar to anyone who has used Material Design apps in the past.
But it's not just a visual overhaul: Google Contacts includes a number of new features that will be useful when managing contacts. The best new feature is an overhauled duplicate contact finder, which allows you to easily and effectively clean up duplicates with a single click. In my brief testing it worked remarkably well at identifying duplicates and merging contact info, saving me a lot of time manually editing and deleting contacts.
Another new feature will keep your contacts' info updated by pulling publicly-available information from their Google profiles. This means that if a friend changes jobs, and updates their profile with the relevant information, the corresponding contact in Google Contacts will be automatically updated.
On top of this, each contact card will now feature a list of recent conversations you'd have with them so you can easily keep track of interactions. Google has also removed random, one-time contacts from your contacts list, ensuring it shows only the people you add and those you actually want to contact in the future.
The new Google Contacts seems slick and much improved from the brief time I've spent testing it so far. If you want to check it out, head over to the Google Contacts Preview, although you'll need a regular Gmail account as Google Apps customers aren't supported just yet.