Outlook.com (previously, Hotmail) is my choice and I love it a lot. You won’t go wrong using it for sure. However, when it comes to managing contacts, I’m facing a lot of troubles that I haven’t faced on Gmail.
Those are some thoughts about People / Contact section of Outlook.com:
Import and Export
Yet they can be imported from many services, exporting contacts is only in CSV format. This isn’t a big problem. Exchange compatible applications can help here. Other emails service providers usually offer the option to import from Outlook. Gmail, on the other hand, is smart enough to organize those imported from CSV files.
I do add pictures through Windows 10 People app or Exchange Server service on my Android’s. It’s strange that Outlook desktop application (MS Office) won’t do it. I also don’t know the reason why not all pictures are being synchronized to Outlook.com. However, they are all there on Outlook desktop app. Please note that, until now, Outlook official app on Android won’t display contacts’ pictures.
Synchronizing to Mobile
Things are perfect on Windows Phones. To synchronize Outlook.com contacts to Android’s, there are two options:
First, using Outlook official application on Android.
- It doesn’t allow editing contacts from mobile.
- Pictures if any won’t be synchronized to phone.
- It doesn’t list the second phone numbers. That’s, if there is Mobile 1, Mobile 2, and Home for a contacts, the app will show Mobile 1 and Home only.
Second, Exchange Server service. Unfortunately, exchange connection doesn’t show all fields of a contact; for example, Phone-Other!
Other limitations and problems
- A contact has 3 email fields only: Personal, Other, and Work. It also has 2 phone numbers per each. That’s, Mobile 1, Mobile 2, Home 1, Home 2, … Relatively, creating multiple contacts for one person and linking them is a real mess in term of synchronizing or editing.
- Note field often doesn’t save data on the first trial. You have to refresh page first to make sure it was saved!
- Deleting contacts and recreating them is a real mess. The system will keep a cached copy…
- Some fields aren’t searchable on Outlook.com such as Suffix name.
- The number of contacts per list is limited. Grouping is very important in organizing…
- Skype and LinkedIn is a plus but merging/linking with existing contacts should have better options such as choosing the main one in the merging process.
It’s confusing that there are too many applications and services to manage the same contacts. That’s, we have Outlook.com in two versions, Window 10 People app, and Exchange Server in MS Office desktop app and other apps that support it! I think this could be the reason behind the mess I suffered from lately in my contacts.
A hard reset might clean the mess if any (often):
- Remove the account from all devices and email clients.
- Restart the devices.
- Delete the devices on Outlook.com account > Options > General > Mobile devices.
- Restore the account to the devices.
If I were Microsoft, I’d pay more attention to Contacts/People service. Moving contacts to a different company (e.g., Google) could affect my use of Outlook mail service itself and, by necessity, OneDrive storage service!
Do you use Outlook.com for storing/managing your contacts? Have you come across issues?