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Google Contacts gets an update with shortcuts, labels and better Gmail integration

If you're opening up Gmail today, you might spot something new in your sidebar: Google Contacts. The neglected address book just got an update, and a prominent new position in Gmail's navigation bar. So, what's Google offering to get you to use Contacts? A more Gmail-esque experience.

User-requested features like keyboard shortcuts, custom labels and sorting by last name are all part of contacts now. it sounds like users wanted Contacts to feel a lot more like part of Gmail, because that's what those features accomplish. The contact cards also have a new look, with a much bigger "notes" field. If you hate Contacts, you can hide it in Gmail by clicking near the right edge of the "Mail" link in your sidebar.

Do you use Gmail contacts? Why or why not, and what's better? (Personally, I'm just a boring old Apple Address Book guy.)

Tags: gmail, google, google contacts, GoogleContacts, update