Microsoft Cortana Adds Support for Google Accounts

Microsoft Cortana for Android

Microsoft has quietly rolled out a new feature on their personal assistant Cortana that Android users will appreciate.  Now in Microsoft Cortana, you can set up the assistant to have access to your Google account, allowing it to access both your Google calendar as well as your contacts.  Previously calendars and contacts were limited to Office 365 accounts or to an Outlook.com account.

The addition of Google services means that users of Cortana on their Android phone, PC or their Harman Kardon Invoke, will be able to ask Cortana about events on their Google Calendar or make a call to a Google Contact, a likely scenario for Android users.

As you would expect, this new integration requires that you connect your Google account to Cortana and authorize it.  This is done via Connected Services which can be found in your Cortana Notebook section of the app or on your PC.

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Google Contacts Update Brings Several UI Changes

Google Contacts 2.2

The latest version of Google Contacts for Android is rolling out in the Play Store and it is bringing several noticeable UI changes.  Version 2.2 should be hitting devices with the app installed over the course of the next few days and when it does, you will immediately notice these visual updates.

First, the contact photo for your contact is much larger in this new update, harkening back to older versions of the app when this was normal view.  Google has indicated that this was one of the most requested features of the Contacts app which is why the added it back to the app.

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Google Contacts Update Expands to More Android Phones

Google Contacts for Android

Google has begun rolling out an update to Google Contacts for Android that brings it to non-Google devices.  The update, version 2.1 for those keeping score at home, will allow users running Android Lollipop or later to install the app and use it as your contacts app on your phone.  Like many other Google apps, Contacts was limited to the Nexus and Pixel lineup to a large extent but Google has been relaxing this as of late.

If you have Google Contacts installed, the OTA update to this new version should be on your phone in the next few days.  For those who want to download it and have a compatible device, you can get it in the Play Store.

Along with the support for more devices, there are also some new features in this update.

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Google Contacts Preview for Web Goes Live

Google Contacts Preview for Web

Google Contacts for the web has a new preview mode available that gives you a chance to try out the upcoming redesign of the site.  The option to view the new look is available in the menu pane when you navigate to contacts.google.com.  Just click on the preview link and you will be taken to the new look.  For those of you who use Google Contacts on your Android devices, this is going to look very familiar.

Gone is the spreadsheet-like list of contacts and it is replaced with a new Material Design with round avatars for your contacts.  This looks identical to the Android app and functionally, is the same.

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Google Contacts Update Brings Round Icon and Suggestions Page

Google Contacts Suggestions

There is an update to Google Contacts that is rolling out in the Google Play Store that sports a new round icon and a new Suggestions page for easier contacts management.  The update is version 1.6 for those keeping score at home and the first thing you will likely notice with the update is the new round icon.  This follows other Google apps that have gone with the Pixelesque round icons such as Hangouts and Messenger.  This new round icon, like Messenger, shows up regardless of which launcher or icon pack you have installed on your Android phone.

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Google Contacts Update Brings Duplicate Finder to Android

The Google Contacts app for Android has been updated and with it comes a new duplicate contact finder.  The updated app, version 1.5.16 for those keeping score at home, will give users the ability to search the contacts on their phone, identify any duplicate contacts, then merge them into one.  If this sounds familiar, it should.  Google Contacts online has had a duplicate contact finding feature for some time now and essentially it works the same as as it does on the Android app.  Now, like so many things we do today, you don’t necessarily have to go to the web to sort this part of your life out.  You can do it on your phone, which is likely always with you.

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Google Contacts Update Allows it to Run on More Devices

Google Contacts is a great contacts management app that has been available for Android 5.1 and higher users despite being a stand alone app for some time now.  That is changing a bit now and it is a good change.  The latest build of the app, version 1.4.9 for those keeping score at home, lowers the minimum Android version to Lollipop 5.0.  This may seem like a small thing but it actually opens up the app to a huge number of potential users.

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