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Google Contacts introducing small amendments that will have major consequences

On our Android phones, we take contact sync for granted. Transferring contacts from one Android device to another Android device is something you don’t even have to think about as long as your Android phone is linked to a Google account. However, Google is changing this behaviour fundamentally, so if you switch phones frequently, you might want to exercise some caution.

The most recent addition to the changelog for the Google Play System Update in May 2023 features a significant divergence from how contact sync has previously operated on Android:

The previously synced contacts will now be deleted from your Android phone if you disable Google Contacts Sync. All Android devices are receiving this update via Google Play Services v23.20.

Google is changing contact sync on Android

Your contact list is one of the first things Google syncs when you sign into a Google account on any Android device.

It’s been a pretty fluid process, as previously indicated, and it’s one of those things that Android nailed as an operating system very early on. Any new contacts you add in the future will be accessible on every device that you sign into, as long as you do so by adding them to your Google account rather than your phone or SIM storage.

However, nothing would really happen to the contacts that are seen on the phone if you were to unintentionally turn off Google’s contact sync on your Android device. The contacts that have previously been synced will still be visible on your phone, but any modifications you make will only be saved locally and won’t be synced.

The Google account must be deleted from the phone to remove the contacts that have been synced. If a phone only has one Google account, that account cannot be deleted, and thus, neither can the contact list.

Switching contact sync off will delete the contacts from that device with the most recent Google Play Services update. To delete these contacts, you won’t need to delete your Google account any longer.

Lucia Coleman

I’m a communication enthusiast and junior editor-reporter at Research Snipers, I have completed a degree in Mass Communication but am very enthusiastic about new technology, games, and mobile devices. I have the main interest in Technology and games.

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