Apple’s Contacts app needs a new identity on macOS

One of macOS Ventura’s controversial changes is the new System Settings app, which replaces the iconic System Preferences app. Another macOS app overdue for an overhaul is Contacts, and a new concept of Basic Apple Guy imagine what that might look like…

As Basic Apple Guy explains, the Contacts app on macOS today is quite similar to the Address Book app from 2003. The apps share a similar three-column interface with contact cards for each person, based on the vCard standard that has was first introduced in 1996.

Based on the vCard standard from 1996, the Address Book (now Contacts) app looks and functions much the same today as it did in 2003. You might think that might be because in 2003, it evolved into its ultimate form, and there’s just no way it can improve, but that’s hardly the case. Despite advances in machine learning and neural engines, Contacts seems to have pushed back any upgrades or smarts, remaining as sterile an app in 2023 as it was in 2003.

This project is my attempt to create a better, smarter and modern Contacts app for macOS.

The concept focuses on improving the existing Contacts app with design updates, new intelligence capabilities, and features that have become commonplace in Apple’s other system apps. This includes a new sidebar that adds Siri Suggestions, Upcoming Events, Favorites, Contact Groups, and Shared Contact and Subscription options.

For example, a Siri Suggestions feature in Contacts could intelligently “cluster details related to contacts in system apps and consolidate them into a convenient menu to enhance insights.”

Meanwhile, shared contact and subscription options would allow you to “share groups of contacts among family members and the ability to subscribe to contact directories”.

Other new features dreamed up in this concept include better support for family relationships, upcoming events, profile pictures, new business features, and more. The complete concept is available on the Basic Apple Guy website.

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