Open up your contacts app, whether it be HTC’s Sense 6 version, Samsung’s Touchwiz version, or Google’s AOSP one called ‘People’. Look how many contacts you have. If you’re like many of the people with smartphones or have used phones for a few years, then you likely have hundreds, possibly even thousands of contacts. But how could you possibly remember where you met them, or why you have them in your contacts at all? That’s where grouping comes in. Many non-AOSP or non-stock contacts apps allow groups from external, non-Google accounts like Microsoft Exchange and Yahoo mail to stay in the groups you might have for them. Sadly, that ability is missing in Google’s, allowing only Exchange and Google contacts to do that. But this past weekend, we heard from the omniROM team that they have a way to fix that, and it’s already implemented.
There’s a lot that’s special about omniROM. First, omniROM is a custom version of Android, currently in the Kit Kat, 4.4 range of builds, built and made completely open-source and from open-source. The development team has been working for about a year on it, and it’s remarkable already, with some very special features. One most notable is a multi-window feature, like that found in Samsung’s Galaxy lines of phones, allowing two apps to run simultaneously, as well as having, as an end result, a custom version of Android for every device that can run it. But this weekend held something far smaller, but just as important.
Contact synchronization may be one of those things that’s neglected since it usually just happens automatically. But the omniROM team realized that there was a shortage of compatibilities in the contact sync realm. The team worked in a protocol called CardDAV. The protocol was necessitated when a member of the omni community reported that there was a shortage and issue with limited syncing. The team then created a patch and uploaded it, and it began being included in the source code once it finished its testing phase. The omniROM team also said that the fix is in current nightly builds as of Sunday the 24th. So if you love AOSP and unique features, check out omniROM. If you love more than Google and Exchange contacts and groups syncing, then go try omniROM.