Google Contacts gets redesign, new features for organization

Users of Google's Inbox email system will see some similarities, as both draw from Google's Material Design language.

Google this week gave its contacts manager a major overhaul, complete with a visual redesign and new organizational features.

Google Contacts is a core component to services such as Gmail, Calendar, Drive, Google+ and Hangouts. However, the manager had a tendency to feel a little forgotten in terms of functionality.

But the new refresh "pools together all your contacts, circles, and the people you talk to most in Gmail," according to a Google blog post. In other words, it should make the system work better and smarter.

As for the overall look of the new Contacts manager, users of Google's Inbox email system will see some similarities, as both draw from Google's Material Design language.

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The new features are what really help to sweeten the user experience. Most notably is the ability to eliminate duplicates in a user's address book. With the duplicate finding feature, which Google says it has rebuilt from the ground up, the system will alert users to the number of duplicates in their contacts and allow them to go through and merge any relevant information.

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Google Contacts is also making more of an effort to keep contact information up to date. So if someone you know changes jobs, cities or names, the updates will automatically feed onto their card within your contacts. The system will also update the contact card with any recent emails or meetings between a particular contact, which Google says makes it "easier than ever to pick up right where you left off."

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