Apple’s Contacts app gets its biggest update ever. Since the first iPhone in 2008, there have been only slight upgrades here and there to how you manage and interact with your contacts. This changes with iOS 16.
The last major feature that Contacts received was Emergency Contacts that can hack Do Not Disturb mode, and that was on iOS 10. Before that, iOS 7 gave us the ability to AirDrop contacts and add social profiles to them; iOS 6 allows us to search all fields and set custom vibrations for each texting contact; And iOS 5 added Family Relations fields. None of these updates compare to the update below.
These changes also appear on iPadOS 16 for the iPad, which is still in beta.
The macOS Contacts app has had a feature to find and merge duplicate contacts for a while now, ever since at least Mac OS X Tiger in 2005 when contacts was still called the address book. And now, the new iOS 16 update is finally bringing it to the iPhone.
When your iPhone detects multiple entries for the same contact across all of your accounts, you’ll see a new “Duplicates Found” section at the top of the All Contacts list with the number of duplicates it found. Click View Duplicates, and you can choose to merge each contact once or select each contact to view the information first and combine them individually.
2. Create and manage contact lists
Perhaps the most important addition to the Contacts app on iOS 16 is the group management, which was Available on macOS and iCloud for what seems like forever. While you can view groups on your iPhone, you can’t do anything other than hide or show entire groups.
Now, you have complete control over the contact groups. You can create, delete, and rename lists across accounts like iCloud and Gmail, as well as add and remove contacts from them. There’s already a lot to browse through about working with contact lists, so check out our full guide on contact lists for all the details.
3. Email or message contact lists
Previously, you could email entire groups of contacts from within Mail app, but you can’t start a message from contacts. Now you can, and can also create a group conversation in the Messages app. Click the mail icon in the list to start an email message, or tap and hold the list name from the Lists view and choose either Email All or Message All. You can also swipe right on the list name and tap the mail or message icon.
4. Export contact lists
As you can see above, when you long press on a contact’s name, quick actions appear that allow you to email them all, message them all, rename the list, and delete the list. There is also another new feature for the “Export” menu. You can share it through all the usual channels, add it to Quick Note, or save it to your files.
There are many ways to add a contact to the list, but dragging and dropping doesn’t use any of the traditional lists that those other methods use. Before, you couldn’t drag a contact from any list, but now you can, and you can drop it in any other list or any other app.
When you tap and drag a contact from the list, it will turn into a floating contact card. Then you can open another app like Messages and drop it where you want or drag it over the Lists button, wait for Lists view to open, then drop it on the list.
In iOS 15, you can tap a person in the Contacts widget to view a wealth of information about them, and this is still the case in iOS 16. There are quick links to Messages, FaceTime, or email them; The most recent emails and messages received from them; Quick access to links, files shared, photos shared with you, shared calendar events, and more.
What’s new is that the Contacts tool itself will tell you if you have any unread messages, missed FaceTime or phone calls from them.
When you want to share someone’s phone number or email address without revealing any of the other personal information you have stored in Contacts – such as their date of birth, social profiles, home address, full name, surname, other phone numbers, and other email addresses , etc. . – You can now filter that information.
After opening the share sheet for a contact, you’ll find the new “Filter Fields” button under their name at the top. Tap on it, and you’ll see each piece of data on the contact card as a checklist. You can select or deselect each item until you are left with what you want to share.
You can already choose the Memoji sticker for the contact photo, but you are limited to 12 modes or custom modes using the front camera. Apple unlocks it on iOS 16 to Any Memoji Sticker, not just a select few. There are even three completely new modes for contact photos only.
To set a Memoji as a contact photo, open the contact card from Contacts, Phone, Messages, or any other app where you can view the contacts. Select Edit, then Edit or Add Photo below the contact’s photo or monogram. Choose the sticker you want, click Next, move it and resize it, click Choose, then save it with Done.
9. More quick actions for contacts
In iOS 15, a long press on a contact will reveal a contextual menu with options for messaging, calling, FaceTiming, emailing, or pushing the contact (Leave the screenshot below). In iOS 16 there are new options to copy, share, make this my card and delete contact (Correct screenshot below).
Although Game Center wasn’t the most useful service on the iPhone, you’ll have easier access to see what games your friends are playing and how they’re doing it. The Contacts app will display a list of all your friends’ Game Center profiles, so you don’t have to go into the Settings app to find them. This feature will arrive in iOS 16 in a later update.
Lock screen widgets are one of the most amazing new iOS 16 features, Apple has developed some apps like Calendar, Clock, and Reminders. However, Apple has not created a lock screen widget for the Contacts app. However, third-party apps can also create lock screen widgets, and some of the apps worth mentioning include:
Depending on the app, you can create widgets for individual contacts or groups to call, email, message, FaceTime, or otherwise call them. You can also add a link to your favorite contacts.
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