usability – Displaying and/or searching across thousands of contacts?

The Need

Our application has a chat feature that allows our users to chat with other users within their database.

However, we’re adding a feature that allows clients to share data between multiple databases as an “Enterprise” configuration, and we’ve been asked to update the design of the chat feature to allow users to chat with other users within any of those databases.

We’ve looked at the numbers of possible users in these scenarios, and the number of chat users in these shared database environments can be as many as 5,000.

Users need to be able find people they need to chat with out of these thousands of contacts. However, up til now, we’ve had a list of contacts the users can browse. Since that is a user expectation, we were hoping to still maintain a browse-able list of contacts. We have ruled out trying to display a list of 5,000 contacts, as this doesn’t seem to be anywhere close to useful or usable.

We’ve come up with three approaches to solve the problem:

Option One

Show a list of contacts from the local database that user’s can browse. Have a second tab that allows users to search the “Full Directory”, returning results from multiple databases.

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  • Allows us to show a browse-able list of relevant contacts
  • Clearly indicates to users that another source of chat contacts are available


  • Search would be limited to the current tab, meaning users would have to be in the right tab to return the right result
  • Adds a possible source of user confusion: whats the difference between “contacts” and the “full directory”?
  • Adds another tab to what should be a simple chat list

Option Two

Show a list of contacts from the user’s local database, but if they search for a contact, include results from other databases as well.

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  • Maintains a list of contacts the user can browse
  • Avoids adding adding another tab
  • One search field searches all sources


  • Searching a finite contact list and returning results that weren’t in the contact list may defy user’s mental model of how the search will work.
  • Not clear that another source of contacts exist. May need to add explanatory text that says “Search to see contacts from the full directory”.

Option Three

Add a dropdown that allows a user to select a what to search in: the local database, or the full directory.

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  • No additional tab required
  • Indicates to users that another source of chat contacts are available, though not as clearly as option 1


  • Search still isn’t universal: the right search category must be selected to return the right result
  • Users may not notice the dropdown or understand intuitively what its function is. May require explanatory text in search results, reminding the user they can expand the search to the full directory


Right now I’m leaning towards option two, but is there another option I’m not considering here? Is there another alternative worth considering?


Can an Android phone pull contact data from somewhere other than Google Contacts?

Is it possible for an Android phone to source contacts data from somewhere other than Google Contacts? If so, does it only do this by syncing, or can it actually connect to some other contact service or provider to source contact details directly?

Or, is Google Contacts literally the only place it will look for contact data?

What Data was uploaded when app accessing our Contacts?

From the moment we switch from Skype/AIM to Apps like Viber and WhatsApp, we’ve become comfortable with IM Apps accessing our contacts. Honestly, I am never fully comfortable with that idea. However, I am much more interested in learning what Data in Contacts did they upload to their server? Will Apple restricts access only to Names and phone numbers?

For instance, in Contacts (macOS/iOS), there are a variety of Data it can store, ie, Name, Address, DOB, and Notes. If someone includes sensitive info in Notes, such as ID#, SSN, Bank reference info… etc. Are these part of the information apps have access to?

Additionally, if we update our Contacts info., (adding or subtracting info.) will that be added to their Data or replacing it with new? ie, if you install IM Apps on a new phone 

Be interesting somebody from the IM App side can share some of their insights as well.


vcard – Completely overwrite SIM contacts with contents of a .vcf?

Is there an app anywhere that will allow me to completely overwrite contacts stored on a SIM card with the contents of a .vcf file? Not “import”, not “add”, not “merge”, but completely replace the whole list?

Use case: “ejecting” from a broken smartphone as if from a tanking plane (the smartphone has broken telephone functionality and doesn’t receive calls) and switching temporarily to a dumbphone kept for such emergencies. Dumbphone cannot into cloud. Dumbphone can only read the SIM card.

The reason why I need to completely overwrite the contacts on the SIM is because the .vcf file is a result of painstaking merging, deduplication and cleanup and I want THAT precious list to be THE contact list on the dumbphone where contact list management will be 3 times harder.

contacts – iPhone 11 Max Pro

When someone calls or texts me, their contact information drops out of my contacts. Their call or text just appears as a number when I know for a fact that they are in my contacts. When I go to search my contacts to see if that person is actually gone, the person is gone and I have to re-save that person again into my contacts. It does not happen to all people just some and I can’t figure out a pattern. I have all my contacts being saved to iCloud. I have plenty of storage available. Also, once resaved, the contact can still drop out again but not always.

audio – Only get sound notifications from contacts and certain apps

I get a lot of annoying spam calls and texts. I want my phone to only give me a sound notification when someone from my contacts list calls or texts me. So I turned on the Do Not Disturb mode, and selected the priories, so that I only get notifications from my contacts.

The problem with this, is that now none of my apps give me notifications. I still want to get notifications from certain apps, like Skype for instance. So I clicked on the app notifications, to select the apps that I want to override the do not disturb. But I am only given a few odd app choices, not all of my apps. (See photo) But if I turn off do not disturb, I get spam calls and texts all day, which is pretty annoying.

Can anyone help me figure out how I can get sound notifications from my contacts only (Call and Text), but still get other app notifications?

I appreciate anyone’s help. Thanks!

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Facebook business page scraping – Contacts, locations


I’d like to scrape all business page from one selected facebook category and after grab datas (business name, city, country, phone number, whatsapp number, e-mail) which page was active at the last 180 days.
I think need custom data grabber but I cannot grab locations. I was tryed based on this video:…tsLoopline 

If you can help me, please let me know! Thanks!

applications – Is it possible to get the list of contacts for a user’s gmail conversation?

I want to get a user’s email contact in my app, I can get the users contact list by reading contacts and get the emails if there is any email associated with any contact number(but the problem is it is very rare that people save email along with phone number) , so I wanted to have the gmail contacts of a user with whom the user has contacted or mailed/replied, is it possible to do that or any relevant api/ tutorial.
Any resource or guidance is very much appreciated!

ios – How to prevent Messages interpreting the @ symbol as a contact’s name (inside an email address)

With Messages in macOS Big Sur (and iOS 14), you can now ‘mention’ a person’s name using the @ sign. This feature is described in Messages User Guide > Send messages > Use mentions in conversations, and on the Big Sur features page.

That’s all fine and dandy when you’re trying to mention someone’s name. When you’re just trying to enter an email address, it can be a downright nuisance. For example, if you’re trying to enter, and Bob happens to be the name of someone in the chat group, it’ll automatically convert @bob into a shimmery blue capitalised ‘Bob’, and the comment will be directed to Bob.

I cannot find any other mention of this annoying behaviour anywhere. I guess it’s reasonably unlikely for most people to stumble across (where the name of a contact is at the beginning of the domain name) and perhaps Apple didn’t even consider this possibility.

Does anyone know of a way to work around this issue? (If not, I’ll send feedback to Apple.)

contacts – Importing group associations _only_

(Following question to this one)
Suppose I have an .xls or .csv file with associations of contact names to groups (or firstname, middlename, lastname to group).

I want to import these associations – applied to existing contacts; I don’t want to create new skeleton contacts based on these associations. Is this possible? If so, how?