Windows Phone and the Google Contacts problem


Ever since I got my Lumia 720, I have had issues with missing phone numbers for some of my Google contacts. The same contacts showed up with all their details on my Galaxy S3. Since practically all my contact data are stored on Google this was a real downer in an otherwise excellent experience with the phone.

Thankfully, a bit of research on the web along with some experimentation led me to the problem and the eventual solution. The problem seems to be phone numbers that have been categorized as Main in particular on Google contacts. These are not recognized by Windows Phone and don’t show up in the contact details. The only solution to this is to categorize the number as ones recognized by Windows Phone like Home, Work or Mobile.

You can also see from the screenshots that while some categories are common to Google contacts and Windows Phone, quite a few are not. In such cases, you should opt for the Windows Phone option as Google contacts is quite flexible since it allows user defined categories (Android phones also seem to be flexible in this regard) while Windows Phone does not recognize ones outside its list.

A couple of other things to keep in mind:

  1. Windows Phone does not provide you a send SMS option from the profile view unless the number is categorized as Mobile or Mobile 2.
  2. If you create a number with a Windows Phone category not available on Google contacts, it will show up on Google contacts, but may have a different label. For example, Mobile 2 ends up as Car. So, don’t be surprised.

 

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