How To

How To – With These Incredible New Features, Your Iphone’s Contacts App Is More Powerful Than Ever

Apple has historically not given its iPhone Contacts app much attention, which makes it far less helpful than its Mac and iCloud equivalents.

However, the iOS Contacts app is now a serious competitor. It’s finally excellent enough to defeat all of the competing third-party contacts applications since it’s packed with new capabilities, some of which are hidden.

The iPhone’s Contacts app has never been more basic than it ought to be, but starting with iOS 16 and beyond, Apple makes full use of its own Contacts Framework. Prior to iOS 16, the last notable addition to the Contacts app was iOS 10, when emergency contacts were finally able to bypass Do Not Disturb mode.

It’s time to explore the Contacts app on your iPhone if you haven’t done more than enter basic contact information. With all the capabilities described below, you’ll really want to use it more. The new features listed below function with iPadOS 16.1 and later. Although many of these were previously accessible on prior macOS versions, they will also function on macOS 13 or later.

1 – Merge Duplicate Contacts

Since at least 2005, the Contacts app on macOS has had the ability to identify and combine duplicate contacts, and iOS 16 now extend it to the iPhone. The All Contacts view will show a Duplicates Found notification at the top if there are duplicate entries. To examine a contact’s duplicate information, tap “View Duplicates,” and then choose a contact. You may handle each contact’s data separately, combine it, ignore it, or both.

contacts or manage it individually

2 –  Manage Contact Lists

On macOS and iCloud, you could always create and maintain contact lists; iOS 16 and later now support this feature. Previously, lists could only be seen on an iPhone.

Open the primary Lists view by clicking the back button at the top. For your iCloud, Gmail, and other accounts, you can create, remove, and rename lists here. Additionally, you may add or delete contacts from each list. There’s a lot to discover here, and you can learn more by reading our thorough guide to utilising contact lists.


3 – Email Contact Lists

A whole contact group may be rapidly sent using the Mail app on iOS 16 and later. Swipe right on the list in the main Lists display, then press the email button to begin a new draught with the list’s contacts already included. Additionally, you may long-press the list and choose “Email All” from the available fast actions, or you can hit the email button directly on the list.

email button

4 – Contact Lists For Messages

If the preceding paragraph didn’t make it clear, iOS 16 and later also allow you to mail complete contact lists. Swipe right on the list in the main Lists display and press the message button to begin a new draught in Messages with all of the list’s contacts included. There is no option to choose “Message All” from inside the list itself, but you can long-press the list and select it from the fast actions menu.

list itself

5 –  Export Contact Lists

To share a list, long-press it in the main Lists window and choose “Export.” The standard sharing options are now available, including AirDrop, messaging, emailing, and saving. To conceal any contact information you don’t wish to share, press “Filter Fields” at the top of the page. The output file will be a virtual card with the extension.vcf (virtual contact file).


6 – Share Filtered Contact Cards

Before iOS 16, anytime you shared a specific contact, the accompanying vCard would include all of that contact’s information. You may now deselect any information you don’t wish to share by tapping “Filter Filters” at the top of the share page.

Filter Filters

7 – Drag & Drop Contacts

With iOS 16 and later, you may drag and drop contacts into lists or even other applications to add them more quickly. Once the floating card is visible, press the contact and then take it away. Keep holding the card while moving it with a different finger to the desired location.

want to drop it

8 – Widget Contact Alerts

On iOS 16 and later, a little change to the Contact app’s widget indicates if you have any unread messages or missed calls from any of the visible contacts. You may get the same information by tapping the contact. The unread or missed call notification will be removed if they open their info card.

missed call notice

9 – Game Center Contact Links

The Contacts app now includes a link to the person’s Game Center profile, which is great news if you use Game Center to try to compete against friends in supported games. Game Center isn’t the most helpful gaming service in the world, but it is handy if you utilise it to do so.

You won’t need to go through the Game Center UI itself to obtain the necessary information if there is a connection to your Game Center profile in Contacts. You won’t find this function in iOS 16.0.3 or before since it is only accessible in iOS 16.1 and later.

The “Allow Finding by Friends” setting under Settings -> Game Center must be enabled for a person’s Game Center profile link to appear in Contacts.

Game Center

10 – Additional Quick Contact Actions

On iOS 16 and later, there are more fast action choices available when you long-press a contract than there were on iOS 15.7.2 and prior. Before, the only options shown were Message, Call, Video, Mail, and Pay (left screenshot below). Additionally, you may now do the actions Copy, Share, Make This My Card, Remove from List, and Delete Contact (right screenshot below).


11 – Contact Lock Screen Widgets

You can add Lock Screen widgets to any Lock Screen wallpaper on iOS 16 and later, and Apple offers a handful for some of its own applications. Contacts is not one of them, however. The only requirement is that you utilise third-party software like Lock Screen Contact Widgets, Contactify: Lock Screen widget, or Contacts by Cardhop. This does not imply that you cannot obtain fast connections to contacts on your Lock Screen.

While some programmes let you build widgets for whole contact lists, others keep things simple by just allowing you to create widgets for a single contact. A phone call, FaceTime, email, message, or another mode of communication is all acceptable. You could even be able to instal a widget that connects to your preferred contacts if you don’t want to contact a certain person or list.

your favorite contacts

12 – Additional Contact Memoji Poses And Stickers

It’s nothing new to use a Memoji as a contact’s photo, but there were previously just 12 stock postures in addition to a custom stance. Any Memoji sticker is acceptable for a contact’s photo on iOS 16 and later, plus there are three completely new positions that are only available for contact profile pictures.

From Contacts, Phone, Messages, or any other app that allows you to see and modify contacts, open the contact’s card. Under the contact’s picture or monogram, click “Edit,” then “Edit” or “Add Photo.” Touch “Next,” choose the Memoji sticker, resize it as required, tap “Choose,” and then tap “Done” to save it.


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