If you are using a smartphone, chances are that you rely on a cloud service to keep your contacts permanently backed up. Gone are the days when you had to spend hours transferring your address book to a phone whenever you switched devices. These days, you just sign in to your Exchange or Gmail account to fill up the Contacts app in your new iPhone. While an extremely convenient method, this cloud syncing comes at a slight cost. If you are using more than one cloud service, you might end up with a lot of duplicate contacts when all your accounts have been added to the device. These duplicate contacts are a pet peeve of many users, forcing them to spend a considerable amount of time in making their address book neat and dupe-free. OneContact is a new iOS app that automates this process by scanning your complete contact list and highlighting all duplicates. The app is intelligent enough to sniff out multiple entries even if they are slightly different.
On its main page, OneContact lists all the sources you have used to populate your address book. It is possible to scan all contacts, or filter them according to their sources. OneContact takes care of altering no information without your contribution. As a further precaution, you are asked to make a backup of your contacts, which is created by the app pretty quickly and can be restored with a single tap. It is also possible to take matters into your own hands and email the entire backup to yourself or anyone as a VCF file for future use or transferring contacts to another device.
To find the duplicates, simply start off by hitting the ‘Find Duplicates’ button. OneContact scans our contacts pretty quickly and displays the results in two parts: ‘Fuzzy duplicates’ and ‘Exact duplicates’. All the entries that have the same information are listed under Exact duplicates, but it’s the Fuzzy category where OneContact really shines. Suppose you mistakenly saved a contact as ‘Caroline’ on one source, and ‘Carline’ on the other. OneContact recognizes them as fuzzy duplicates, asking you if they are the same person. This intelligent detection can be really handy for not just removing duplicates, but also fixing some misspelt entries.
Before you resolve a conflict, you can first preview all the entries listed under each discovered duplicate. Hit the arrow icon next to the name, and the app shows you the contact info stored against it. If both profiles belong to the same person, hit the ‘Resolve’ button so that OneContact combines the profiles and shows them as one. After resolving each conflict, hit the ‘Merge and Next’ button to move on to the next one.
The changes you make in OneContact are reflected in your address book instantaneously. You cannot edit any field within the app, but you can uncheck any of the items to exclude them from being saved to a contact’s profile.
The app is optimized for iPhone and iPod touch. You can download it for free by heading to the following link.