September 1, 2014

App Review: Contacts GroupU

new_groupThis simple yet highly functional application syncs Google contact groups to a user’s phone. In addition, it also provides full options for editing and creating new groups from the convenience of your handheld device. Groups you create using Contact GroupU are actually synced back to your Gmail account. Overall, the UI left me wishing it looked a little more polished, but the layout is straight-forward, easy to use, and through the days I have been testing it I have seen zero lag, hiccups, or force closes.

Within the app itself, contact groups are arranged alphabetically the same way your regular contacts display. Also, the scrolling mechanism is the same as regular contacts with the pop-out handle to quickly scroll from A – Z. From the main screen of the application a click of the menu button brings up options allowing you to create a new group or edit the group settings. (In this instance, “group settings” refers to the option of choosing between either your contact’s Primary phone number and email or all their stored phone numbers and email addresses.)

Standard groups that will appear by default are: Uncategorized, System Group (My Contacts), and All Contacts. Aside from these, your groups will be dependent on what you create or have created.

When you drill into a group there are touchscreen options to add contacts to the current group from your phone book or to input a new contact altogether. The latter option actually takes you into the native contact application so you have full functionality when adding someone new. Also within a group, you can click your menu button to bring up options for sending SMS/MMS and emails, ringtone selection, or adding a specific contact to another group that is already defined. One thing I really enjoy about this app is that within each group, each contact has a selection toggle next to them. The toggle switch is beneficial because it makes it easy to modify your group without actually removing anyone from the list. This means that you can choose within a group on whom an action will be performed on when when sending SMS/MMS or email. The toggle switches also help when you need to quickly add multiple contacts to other groups, or remove one or more contacts from the current group. It should also be mentioned that you have the option to select or de-select all contacts at once within a group.

Both landscape and portrait mode are supported (are there any apps that don’t at this point?) and the contact image you have assigned to each of your contacts shows up next to their name.

All-in-all, Contacts GroupU does a superb job of helping you manage your contacts while at the same time keeping things simple. At the time of this review the current release is at v1.5.4 and there have been numerous updates previously, so you can expect to see more good things happening with it. Hopefully it will soon have some improved aesthetics; and the ability to create live folders from it would be killer.

***UPDATE***

Version 1.5.5, is now available and what an awesome update it is! Now you have the ability to create a homescreen shortcut for any group you have in Contact GroupU. To access this function, long press on your homescreen >> Shortcuts >> Contacts GroupU >> select your contact group.

The developer has provided a online user-guide along with additional screenshots. Click the link to open it in a new window: Contacts GroupU

Download Contacts GroupU today and let us know what you think.