One of the great parts of Android is that it syncs right to your Google services.
I use Gmail heavily, and therefore make good use of my Google contacts list. Perhaps you do, too. But when you go to check your contacts on your Android, it’s one huge jumble. That’s because you probably have the “create contacts for auto-complete” option checked. It’s under Settings in the General tab. Basically, anyone with whom you’ve emailed once — i.e., has sent you an email or you’ve sent them one — will show up in your contacts list. That’s no fun when you’re trying to manage your list.
Here’s a nifty way to go about it. It doesn’t involve deleting all those contacts, so they’ll still be handy for auto-complete on your desktop web. But you will have a much more manageable Android contacts list.
1. Create a group in Gmail
On the web, open up Gmail and select Contacts from the Gmail drop-down menu. On the left side of the screen, below My Contacts and Circles, you’ll see a few other options. Among them should be New Group… Click it, and then enter the group name as Android. You’ll see that appear under My Contacts.
Now scroll through your massive contacts list in the main part of the screen, checking the boxes next to the contacts you want to sync to your Android device. Once you’re done with that click the multiple-person icon atop the screen, and then click the checkbox next to Android. Those contacts now belong to your Android group.
2. Sync only Android group
Open the contacts app on your Android smartphone. The instructions might be a bit different here, as different Android devices might have different specific instructions. But the gist remains the same, so you can probably figure it out.
Click the menu button, or select Settings. You should seen an option for editing sync groups. Once you select that option you can select your Android group as the only one to sync. And there you have it. No more unwieldy contact list.
For those who dare…
Honestly, the contacts thing in generally bugs the crap out of me. If you want a real sync, which includes all of your Google contacts, I recommend going through and deleting the contacts you don’t recognize. In settings you can first merge duplicate entries, which is a big plus. Then you can go into the general settings tab and uncheck that automatically add contacts box, and have a working, manual contacts list. It’s really liberating.