Contacts can be arranged into multiple containers, called Android accounts. They are the synchronization units of this app.
Each account can be shared on several devices comprising a share group. Distribution protects you from data loss.
Contacts information is confidential. It is protected by strong encryption outside the devices of shared groups.
Contacts can be copied from local accounts or any standard VCard files. In any case the data remain within the device.
Your contacts data are inaccessible to us or anyone else outside your share group.
Contacts data are kept in sync automatically in a share group.
The app source is available under GPL to all registered users. Contributions are welcome.
First come, first served. Registration will remain free until our resources are exhausted.
Your confidential data should be protected against unauthorized access. For this reason authentication is necessary. Press the register button in the Login screen to enter your credentials for the first time.
Registration is mandatory for accessing the Contacts Sharing Service. Enter a username, an email and a password. Press Next to continue. Remark: the username (alias) is used exclusively for email communication.
Please read the Terms and Conditions document next. If you accept then an email address confirmation request is sent to your mailbox. You can login with your registered credentials upon confirmation.
Please enter your credentials into the Login screen. Usually you need to login again only after you log out deliberately or having been logged out due to an error. Upon successful login you will land on the account overview screen.
Each contact in your mobile device belongs to one or more Android accounts. Please see the Accounts menu item in Android Settings. In order to make some of your contacts available on other devices, they should be loaded into a specific account type what we call Managed Account. Press the (+) button whenever you need a new account.
Enter the name of the new managed account and press Create. The new account will be available immediately on your device. Initially it is empty. You can populate it by copying an existing (unmanaged) account or importing a standard VCarc file from the internal or external storage of the device. At any time you can edit the contacts of the account by any reasonable Contacts management apps.
This screen gives you an overview of all managed accounts. An account has three attributes:
The individual cells of the overview table are potentially active buttons. You can manage the sharing state of the corresponding account via the actual functions attached to these buttons. The function label under the button will guide you.
You can import a standard VCard file into an empty local account. Prior to import, the file must exist on the internal or external drive of the device. Follow these steps:
You can copy a local (unmanaged) account into an empty managed account. Follow these steps:
You can remove all contacts from an account by truncating it.
Press Truncate in the overview screen and press Truncate Account in the popup dialog box.
In order to make the local account "impasse" available on other devices you will need to create a share. Press the Share Account button in the overview screen. Enter a share name in the pop-up dialog box and press Share. This is the focal action of the application. Please read the Background section and make sure you fully understand the outstanding security measures to protect your privacy.
Once you have shared an account on a device A (source) under a share name, e.g. "sharedex", you are invited to download and use the contacts onto a different device B (target). Log in on device B, find the shared account "sharedex" in the list of accounts accessible to you, press Register Account in the overview screen. Enter a local account name and press Register again in the popup dialog box. This will send a notification to device A to authorize access.
The contacts of a shared account are encrypted outside the devices of the share group. In order to use the account on a new device, the secret key for the decryption is required on the target device B. The purpose of the notification sent from B to A is requesting the secret key in return. Please open the notification on device A, review the authorization request and press Authorize in the popup dialog box. This will put device B into the share group together with device A.
Once your new target device B has been put to the share group, you can initialize the local account by downloading the enclosed contacts. Using the names of the previous example, locate the shared account "sharedex" in the overview screen, press the Clone Account button and press the Clone again in the popup dialog box. From this point in time the local account will be synchronized with the share group automatically.
The application supports the concept of Teams. A team is a group of trusted persons having mutual interest of sharing specific contacts, e.g. those of project members, customers, etc. In order to make a shared account available to a team, you can invite a registered user to join the share group. Press the Invite User button in the overview screen, enter the email address of the user in the pop-up dialog box and press Invite. The corresponding shared account can be registered on all known devices of the invited user.
Instead of registering the account for synchronization, thus accepting the "invitation", you can remove the invitation to download the shared account from the list of available accounts. Simply press Decline Invitation in the overview screen.
A registered account on a device can be removed from the share group easily. Find the shared account in the overview screen, press Unshare Account and press Unshare again in the popup dialog box. This will stop synchronization with the share group but leave the local account on the device untouched. To remove the account from the device, you will need to delete the local account in the overview screen or in the Android Settings menu "Accounts".
From the very beginning at least two applications have been made available on every communication device: a dialer and a contacts app. So replacing a device has always resulted in the task of restoring contacts. The problem used to be solved by transferring the contacts' storage medium (e.g. a sim card) from one device into the other.
More advanced mobile devices, like smart phones, can handle not only voice calls or text messages but several new communication channels. The mobile phones offer an increased internal or external storage capacity, so the contacts can include a lot more information than before. However the internal storage medium is not removable any more and the problem of restoring contacts needs new approaches.
One possible solution is exporting and importing the contacts via an external file. This approach is supported on many mobile devices even today. Moreover, the backup can be stored in the cloud and it can be made available to any authorized (trusted) user. Actually most people make use of free services offered by global providers, like Google, for restoring their contacts from a backup provided by that service.
Obviously, contacts, or other types of content, can be imported from a backup into more than one device and make them available on all of them at the same time. The requirement of simultaneous availability may vary depending on use cases. Once data is to be shared on several devices the problem of consistency should be examined. The usual expectation is that changes on one device will be reflected on all other devices automatically without significant delay.
Among others, most social media platforms implement sharing and real-time synchronization of their data, including contacts. In each case, the user must register an account with the service provider and login on each device where the respective information is to be used.
Sharing contacts via a free service is very comfortable. Unfortunately it has a price. The user must be aware that the shared information can be fully disclosed on the server. It has legal protection but in technical terms it is open. Actually this is a precondition for the registration.
If the user somehow encrypted the information then sharing it would necessarily include sharing the key as well. So privacy can only be achieved if there is an independent channel for key exchange.
The new app combines synchronization with protecting privacy.
Your contacts may include sensitive data of your family, friends, customers, etc. They are confided in you. They deserve your attention.
Confidential data should be protected against unauthorized access and loss. Your service provider may keep a secure backup for you. Unfortunately you will need to share (disclose) the data on the way.
There is an alternative. Keep them securely on multiple devices instead.
Currently our app is available on Android phones! Install now to get started!