Stop screwing up my Contacts!

Stop screwing up my Contacts!I’ve just spent over an hour cleaning up the contacts on my phone – and not for the first time. This time it was LinkedIn that inserted their unwanted intrusions into my private space, but in the past it’s been Facebook, Google+ and probably others.

I think the problem is that the makers of social apps, services and similar platforms have difficulty in distinguishing online contacts from the real world. A distinction even geeks like me can figure out. So why can’t they get their heads round it? One assumes they’re reasonably intelligent people – although of course the intelligence required to program is not the same thing as “emotional intelligence”, if that even exists.

Let’s be crystal clear about this. A contact on, say, Google+ or LinkedIn is not a real world contact. I may wish to connect with someone on a particular platform for many purposes, few if any of which relate to any desire to email/phone/text them. For example, on Facebook and Google+ I might “friend” people purely so as to add them as neighbors in some game. Other platforms have other priorities.

So I go to phone someone, and there suddenly are hundreds of strangers’ faces and names cluttering up the list. Who wants this? Do you know anybody who really wants to scroll down for several seconds to get to anyone they actually want to contact? No. I thought not.

In the past, as on this occasion in fact, I’ve gone down the list and “deleted” (well, you get a message that you can’t delete, you can only hide. Good enough) all the extraneous peeps. Thankfully, there were only a couple of hundred of them.

I’m afraid I got so mad, that I went to LinkedIn to find out how to turn off syncing, and finding none, I just deleted all the contacts on there that I don’t actually know irl (sorry if you were one of them). I don’t have anything against them as people – I just don’t want them filling up my phone list! I won’t be phoning/emailing/texting any of them any time soon, probably never.

When will this be sorted out? There is no way round this that I can find.

I tried putting all my “actual” real life contacts into a new group “My Contacts” reasoning that I could just look at that group, and never have to do the same thing again. No. That doesn’t work. Oh sure, you can look at a group, but the layout is unusable. Why can’t it be a straight alphabetical list like the full one? No. It has to be 2 images on a line, then another 2. Even more scrolling. Doh.

I am fed up with this. Every time I get a new phone I have to do it all over again (because you can’t delete you can only hide, and this doesn’t seem to be passed on to the new device).

For heaven’s sake. Somebody sort this out. Or bring out an app that hides contacts from “social” apps/services automatically.


Fixing the two main Nexus 4 bugbears

I’m the proud owner of a Google Nexus 4, and I’m very pleased with it, in the main.

But there are two major problems I’ve been wrestling with since I received delivery of the device:

  1. When you’re in the middle of a call, and you press the Power button to refresh the screen so you can look something up or make a note, the call ends.
  2. The back is so ridiculously shiny that, apart from the fact that it feels cold and unfriendly in the hand, it slides off stuff that isn’t exactly level – on any surface, rough or smooth, with an angle of 1 degree or more away from true! This is a pain (it wakes me up in the night as it slides onto the floor with a bump, so on), and is also not really a good thing if you have a valuable phone (ok, I know the N4 is actually pretty inexpensive, but that’s irrelevant), as sooner or later it might land on something hard enough to damage it.

Fix for power button terminates callI was bemoaning my problems to my son, Allan, on the phone the other day and he solved both of them in the space of 10 seconds. The second wasn’t something I’d really thought about or researched, but the power button thing had been reported to Google as a bug by several people, myself included, and they didn’t seem to know that a solution was already available. They just said it was a feature to add accessibility for the blind. Those of us who worked with computers in the 80s will recognize the word “feature” as a euphemism for bug.

But it’s easy to fix. It’s an accessibility option. So if it’s been bugging you, too, go to Settings -> Accessibility, scroll down to Power button ends call and uncheck the box. Doh.

Fix for slidey backThe shiny back may be pretty, but it’s nowhere near as usable as the nice textured back on the Samsung Galaxy Nexus. To fix the sliding problem, you have to put up with a marred aesthetic. Stick some rubber feet on the back. I used 3, as mine are quite big. If you have smaller ones, you could probably use one in each corner without the risk of getting in the way of the camera.

Now all I’ve got to do is try and always hold my phone without any part of my fingers and thumb wrapping over the screen. As it goes right to the edge, you end up thinking the screen’s frozen when it’s just confused because your left hand’s registering as well as your right.

To be honest, I think I’d prefer my old Samsung Galaxy Nexus, which had none of these problems. My toilet has a lot to answer for…

This is just me saying Hello World! like you do

I’m mainly involved in what you might call Alternative Health. I know this is usually just about herbs and essential oils, but you could call the gluten free diet an alternative to medication as well, in many cases.

Lately, I’ve been making Kindle books about these subjects. Some of them are shown at the bottom of the page in a carousel. No horses with candy poles, though. And they’re linked to Alternatively you can find links to both and on my books page.

If you wish to contact me, please use the following address: email address.