Saturday, November 26, 2011

My Google+ / Android Smart Phone Nightmare

Do you have an Android Smart Phone and are actively engaged in social media using Google+?  Then you could have a recipe for disaster.  Allow me to share my own story.

Let's keep in mind that I am not a programmer or otherwise savvy technogeek.  I'm not in dark ages either.  I know how to use most of the tools I need and where to go for help when I need it.  This time around I am at a total loss.

I admit I am a very active person on Google+. I have circled over 2,500 people, mostly genealogists, historians, writers and photographers.  I like to be in the thick of the conversation.

One of the features of the Android Smart Phone is that it syncs automatically with Google.  That means any contacts I put in my Google contacts will sync automatically to my phone. And likewise any contacts I add manually to my phone get synced to my Google contacts in gmail.  I maintain about 200 contacts which consists of family, friends and colleagues that I might need to call. Normally this is a great feature.

Enter Google+ into the picture.  With its promotion of total integration, Google is interconnecting all of its functionality/apps.  That means they are trying to be helpful by syncing all Google+ contacts to my regular Google contacts account.  And in turn that means 2,500+ contacts are being synced to my Android Smart Phone.

Before you start worrying about privacy and your contact info, for some weird reason I can't see the individual Google+ contacts  either in my Google contacts or on my phone.  But they are there taking up my storage space. (Though I have heard of other people who could see their contacts and deleted them.  This caused them to lose all of their contacts from their Google+ circles. So I heard.)

In fact the situation got so crazy on my phone that it actually shut down total functionality on my phone.  I wasn't able to run anything.  So I took the extreme measure of resetting my phone to the factory default settings.  As soon as that was done and my phone reprogrammed I immediately turned off the sync contacts feature.

I have contacted Google+ to see if they can help me resolve this problem.  I have searched the web looking for answers.  I have asked my Google+ contacts for help to see if they had any tips.  In the meantime, I won't be syncing my contacts anymore until I get an answer to resolve the problem.

If you start getting space storage problems on your Android phone and you're a Google+ user then this could be the problem.  As far as I can see, Google doesn't provide options in either Google+ or in Google contacts to shut off the automatic syncing of the Google+ contacts.

If anyone knows how to resolve my problem please let me know!! I would really like to get back to normal operation with my technology.   Thanks for listening to my rant and triple thanks if you can help solve my problem.

ps. My particular brand of phone is the Android Ally.


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  2. Your contacts list is within GMail. I read that you like to be in the thick of the conversation. Does this mean you use messaging from within Google+ a lot? If so, that could help explain your sync problem. There is a setting in Gmail that automatically adds *anyone* you chat to in Google+ into your Contacts list in GMail unless you change it to "I'll add contacts myself". Gmail/settings/general tab/11th choice section.

  3. Google+ adds all circles to your 'Other Contacts' in Gmail. This is done on purpose, rather than being a bug. I suspect you won't get any response or help from Google.

    Depending on your phone manufacturer, you can go into your contacts settings and select which groups from your Gmail contacts actually sync with your phone. I'm not familiar with the Ally. I know HTC doesn't allow selection of contact groups on its phones.

  4. I have the setting, "I'll add contacts myself" checked, and it still adds any person that I add to a circle in Google+ to Other Contacts in my Gmail contacts. I have never messaged nor chatted with anyone in G+. I just added a couple of people to one of my Circles and they both immediately appeared in my Other Contacts in Gmail. This is really a mess and I'm very tempted to do away with Google+ because of it. I wish I had known all of this before I signed up and I would have used my other Gmail account for G+. Also, if you tag people in your Picasa albums, it will add those names to your Other Contacts. I have people who died in the 1800's in my contacts list.

  5. Great catch Marian. This may explain why I am out of space on my Android phone too. Going to have my techno geek hubby look into it. Thanks for the alert. Jen

  6. Anna - I don't use chat but I will check those settings anyway to see if that is the problem.

    Kevin - I'm going to have to check the Android Ally manual. As far as I can see it's all or nothing. I don't see any settings for choosing groups.

    Jennifer - If you husband figures it out let me know. But I think the answer is really in Kevin's suggestion and if you can't choose your groups, well, that stinks for us.

  7. Perhaps this will help It tells how to combine Google+ contacts with those you already have. That should at least eliminate some duplicates. Also, is there any way you can add more memory to your phone?