Already in March 2015, almost two years ago, Google has published the first preview of the Contacts in the material design. Since this day, this preview was available under the label “Preview”. Only now, this preview has now been reworked in many places and this is explained as a standard.
In the meantime, almost all Google offerings on the web as well as the various apps have got the modern material design. After a very long test phase Google Contacts added since yesterday a completely new design with a modern and tidy surface.
The basic structure of the contact management has remained the same: On the left-hand side there is a list of contacts or groups and in the main window all the rest items. The side panel can now be dimmed to provide more space for the contacts and their details. When a contact is opened, a small overlay opens with all available and stored information.
Contacts can be accessed directly to have all important areas such as contacts, frequent contacts, duplicates, labels, settings, aids and suggestions in a side navigation panel.
The moment you enter the application, the different parts will be shown as well as a notification in which all duplicate contacts appear. We can ignore it or see them to fix our list of contacts a bit. If we go to see it we can combine duplicate contacts in a simple way.
In addition to the details on the individual contact, there is also a link to the Google profile in the overlay (if one has been created) and an overview of all interactions with this contact. These consist of sent and received e-mails, which can also be seen directly from there. Next to the mail is the date. Further interactions like chats are not yet included in the list.
Overall, the interface now looks similar to the Contacts app for Android, which was updated last year. Why Google used two years for the redesign is probably the secret of developers and designers. This update is largely designed based as no major feature has been included in it.
Even if the design has now been declared the standard, it still bears the name “Preview”. In addition, you can still go back to the old interface. But it should not be long before these two things are also history and Contacts is finally what it once was; A modern and practical small contact management which is very useful especially by the synchronization with the Android smartphone.