Mobility

Standardize your Android contact phone number format with Twitch

Organize all of your Android contact phone numbers into a standard format with the help of Twitch! Contacts Formatter.

If you take a look through your Android contacts, you'll most likely see many variations in how the phone numbers are formatted. I've seen:

1 234 567 8900

(234) 567-8900

1/234/567/8900

Although the Android platform supports multiple phone number configurations, staring at a hodge-podge of numbers can be dizzying when trying to sort through your multitude of contacts. If you're a busy power user, it would behoove you to get those phone numbers into one standard format. But imagine reformatting hundreds (or even thousands) of contacts to the international standard:

+1-234-567-8900

The best application I've found to handle this task is Twitch! Contacts Formatter. Here are some features you'll find with Twitch!:

  • Single click to standardize
  • International and national formats
  • Editable contact numbers
  • Select particular numbers to update
  • Skips invalid numbers
  • Auto-detect country
  • Update multiple contact sources

Using Twitch! gives you the power, with a single click, to standardize all valid phone numbers. How handy is that? Let's get this installed and see how it's done.

Installation

Installing Twitch! Contacts Formatter is simple. Just follow these steps:

  1. Open the Google Play Store
  2. Search for "twitch contacts" (no quotes)
  3. Tap the entry for Twitch! Contacts Formatter
  4. Tap Install
  5. Tap Accept

Once it's installed, you should find the Twitch! launcher in the app drawer or on your home screen.

Usage

Using Twitch! Contacts Formatter is quite simple. Here are the steps:

  1. Open the application
  2. If your country isn't correctly selected (indicated by a small flag at the top - Figure A), tap the flag and select the right country
  3. Tap either International or National format (from the map drop-down, next to the flag)
  4. Scroll through the list of numbers and de-select any number you don't want converted
  5. When everything looks good, tap the Save button to convert
Figure A

Twitch! Contacts Formatter on the Verizon-branded Samsung Galaxy S III.

Twitch! Contacts Formatter detects the country code for the format from the phone's SIM card. If, by chance, the detection is wrong (or there's some reason you want/need to use a different format), just tap the flag icon and select the country you need to use as the basis for your number formatting.

You can also select between national and international formatting. The national format customizes phone numbers based on Google's standard for that country. For example: U.S. phone numbers will show up as (123) 456-7890, while German numbers are displayed as 1234-567-8900.

In the listing, you'll notice all invalid numbers are indicated with a "!" symbol. For those numbers, you'll have to go back and manually convert them into one of the valid formats. Twitch! uses Google's phone number formatting, and it will generally find phone numbers that are not in this format as invalid. For example: A U.S. phone number without an area code will be found as invalid. It doesn't matter if the original format is:

  • (123) 456 7890
  • 1 (234) 567 8900
  • 123-456-7890

As long as it has the correct amount of digits, Twitch! Contacts Formatter should work just fine.

Once the save has completed, you can go back into the default Android contacts app and see that all valid phone numbers have been converted to the standard you've chosen (national or international). The one caveat to this is that you cannot undo the conversion (but there's really no reason why you would want to).

If the phone numbers in your Android contacts are a formatting jumbled mess, install Twitch! Contacts Formatter to get those valid numbers following a recognized standard. This will make locating numbers faster and can even help you switch the default formatting on your phone.

Have you discovered any Android apps like Twitch! that you'd recommend to your TechRepublic peers? Share your experience in the discussion thread below.

About

Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website getjackd.net.

3 comments
danweis
danweis

Unfortunately, most of my numbers are formatted as 5551234567 with no spaces or dashes. The app just leaves them as they were. Fail.

fof9l
fof9l

This is a very interesting idea, and it looks very useful. Bit there's one problem: I format all my numbers to International standard (+1 for North America, +44 for UK, etc.). So the phone works fine for outgoing calls. But for incoming, not all phones will recognise and match up the number that's calling to a contact entry. For instance, if my brother calls from the UK, the call display number that's sent by his call and shows up on my screen does not have the +44 in front of it, so his name, photo and special ring don't come across on the screen and the phone, because the software isn't clever enough to recognise it. Maybe some day the people who write this stuff will catch up with international standards..

Rauno
Rauno

If your contacts are synchronized with Gmail, you can revert back to a version of your address book in the last 30 days. That's a way to undo the conversion in case it would mess up with your data.