I absolutely despise Apple’s new Address Book in Lion…

I just spent 20 minutes trying to figure out how to add an existing contact to an existing email list in MacOS X Lion’s new Address Book. Apple’s new “real objects” visual metaphors for Address Book and iCal are absolutely horrendous; I hope they both get fixed in short order.

Address Book used to be a three-column app; you could view your lists, the vCards for all of your contacts and data on a particular contact simultaneously. In Lion, Apple changed the app to use a leather book visual metaphor, complete with flipping pages — and in the process, reduced it to a two-column app. You can now view your email lists and the contacts contained in those lists in one “two-page spread,” and then “turn the page” to get to another “spread” showing a list of your contacts on one “page” and information on the selected contact on another.

This left no obvious way to add an existing contact to an existing list. There’s no field in the contact data to assign it to a specific list; the “add” button in the view of contacts in a list adds a new contact — and it doesn’t search existing contacts, so doing this for an existing contact creates a duplicate entry in your contacts list.

Here’s what you have to do. You have to go to the spread that shows your contacts and the info on that contact. You have to grab the name of the contact and drag it outside the borders of the “book” (you’ll see a vCard icon attached to your mouse pointer to indicate that you’re correctly dragging the vCard); when you’ve dragged the vCard outside of the “book”, that forces a page flip to the group spread. From there, you can drop the vCard into the appropriate group.

That’s pretty much the most ridiculous thing ever. It makes absolutely no sense for Apple to force that kind of stupid functionality when the three-column view that app had in the past worked perfectly well and was perfectly intuitive. These real-world object visual metaphors that Apple seems to love started on the iPad, and are now steadily infiltrating MacOS; iCal in Lion has been given a similar visual metaphor, as it resembles a desktop paper calendar (complete with a “torn off sheet” visual at the top and grand, painfully slow “page flip” animations). They’re both awful, and I hope they’re either completely redesigned or, at the very least, something added in Preferences to change them.

Andy Bartlett

By day, I am the executive director of communications and marketing at Bemidji State University. The rest of the time, I'm a husband, father of three, and proponent of super heroes, lasers, space ships and explosions.

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1 Response

  1. Bruce Nicholson says:

    Totally agree!! Seriously dumbed down. The appearance at least can be changed.
    Syncing has never been reliable either since Dotmac. My partners address book suddenly doubled in size from 1500 to 3100. The find duplicates shows ony 150 duplicates.
    It forces the user to use another database such as contactizer to get some control over the database but this complicates everything and creates its own problems too.

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