Searching in contacts

SpeedVX

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Nov 16, 2009
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Ok, because of my line of work I have a fairly large contact list and often I need to do a search based on something other than a person's name (by company or perhaps a keyword in the bio that I keep in the notes section on lots of people). I've already come to terms with the crappy way Categories in Outlook have been ported to "Groups" in GMail/on the Droid. But is there some super-secret way to search more than the name field in the native Contacts section on the Droid or am I SOL?

This may actually be a deal-breaker for me and send me back to my Storm2 and the absolutely awesome PocketInformant app (contacts, calendar and task management).

Failing the ability to do it natively, I've seen some apps in the Market promising searches through multiple fields (like Star Contact or aContacts) but I'm a bit leery of downloading them and turning over all my contacts to them. Anyone have an experience with them? Do they really deliver on the searching? Are they just add-ons to the normal contacts or are they separate programs with separate databases? Do they continue to sync properly with the contacts in GMail? Do they even work with the Droid? ;)

Thanks!

Rob
 

SpeedVX

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Yeah, I tried the widget and the search function embedded in the contacts -- same result. I also checked the Search page under Settings (for a moment I was really hoping there was something there I could enable) but there was no help there either -- the only option for searching appears to be by name only.

I did find a workaround that will let me keep the phone -- my contacts are replicated on my company's servers (due to the days when I was on BlackBerry) and Touchdown (which I'm using to sneak into my company's system --shh don't tell IT ;) ) does exactly what I'm looking for -- call up the search box and it automatically searches through ALL the fields.

At least that gives me hope that it can be done on the Android platform. Now if only some enterprising programmer will add it to the native Contacts program (and do something about the unholy mess that is Groups -- I mean come on, can they at least be listed alphabetically?) that would be awesome.
 

SpeedVX

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So I tested things out myself. aContacts seems to be a nice program, but its just plain flaky right now on the Droid. Searching for one person brings up another, crashes when some options are chosen (though that may have been fixed), etc. I'm sure when the author figures those things out it'll be very good.

I'm using StarContact for now. It's also free and gives the ability to search through more fields than just the name.
 

dirk.moon

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My first thought was that its kind of strange that Google would leave that out, after all they are search. So I played with it a bit.

In Gmail, I can search and return results for text in the company field and notes. In Android 2.0 (Droid), I can do the same search and only return results if the text is in the company field, but not the notes field.

Are the company names that you want to search in the company field? It should work.
 

SpeedVX

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Interesting -- how did you manage to search through company fields? My search will only go through the name that the contact is listed by (typically the name field, though for a few entries I have a company name only -- in that case, of course, it hits on the company if I happen to search for that one).
 

SpeedVX

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So I've also found another solution -- if the search in Contacts doesn't do enough -- why not beef up the search function altogether.

I found a program called Power Search (v1.0.5) in the Market. It searches through any field in your contacts for whatever you type in, along with all sorts of other places (Call Log, Calendar, Bookmarks, SMS and various notepad apps).

Very interesting. Has worked well in the couple of tests I've run.
 

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