Monday, October 8, 2012 [Tweets] [Favorites]

iOS 6 Contacts Groups

As with iOS 5, it is not possible to create new groups from the iPhone. You have to use the Contacts or Address Book application on the Mac.

When you have no groups, there’s a Reload button in the upper left corner of the screen. When you do have groups, the button changes to say Groups; then the Reload button appears after you tap on Groups.

In iOS 5, there was a column view for showing All Contacts or one particular group. This was quick and logical. In iOS 6, there is instead a separate screen showing all your groups (plus All Contacts) with checkmarks next to them. This is kind of like the iOS 5 interface for Calendars. One advantage to the iOS 6 interface is that you can display the union of multiple groups; with iOS 5 you had to show all the contacts or just one group. However, I nearly always want to see either All Contacts or just one group, and iOS 6 makes this more difficult.

At first glance, it appears that showing just one group is a major pain with iOS 6. You would have to uncheck all the groups that you don’t want to see. However, there’s a shortcut that makes it easier: when All Contacts is already checked, you can tap it to uncheck all the groups at once.

In summary, to change from viewing one group to viewing another, on iOS 5 you could:

  1. Tap Groups (to go left).
  2. Tap the name of the group you want (to go right).

On iOS 6 it takes more steps:

  1. Tap Groups (to open the dialog).
  2. Double-tap All Contacts to uncheck the current group. (Or scroll to find the current group and then tap it to uncheck.)
  3. Tap the group that you want to see (to check it).
  4. Tap Done (to close the dialog).

If you’re viewing All Contacts and want to view a group, on iOS 5 you could:

  1. Tap Groups (to go left).
  2. Tap the name of the group you want (to go right).

On iOS 6 it takes more steps:

  1. Tap Groups (to open the dialog).
  2. Tap All Contacts (to uncheck all the groups).
  3. Tap the group that you want to see (to check it).
  4. Tap Done (to close the dialog).

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