Google has been previewing a new design for Google Contacts on the web since 2015, but always retained the previous online version until feature parity. With that milestone now achieved, Google will deprecate the old Google Contacts in February of 2019.
Given the importance of contact management for the enterprise, Google kept around what it called “old Google Contacts.” Some functionality, like contacts delegation — or the ability to have personal assistants manage contacts for executives — just became available in the Contacts preview.
With feature parity achieved, “Contacts now has many comparable features from old Contacts, and more.” Starting February 12, 2019, Google will be deprecating the old version that still retains the company’s previous design language.
The replacement process will take place in three stages. On November 28, a new setting in the Admin console will allow administrators to select what version of Google Contacts managed accounts see.
- If you currently have new Contacts preview enabled, new Contacts will be the default and there will be no change for your users. Your users will stay using new Contacts with the option to revert back to old Contacts. If they previously opted out of new Contacts preview, they’ll remain opted out until stage 2 (see below).
- If you don’t currently have new Contacts preview enabled, old Contacts will be the default but users will get a new option to try new Contacts. None of your users will be automatically upgraded to new Contacts, but all users will be able to opt in to new Contacts individually if they choose.
Starting January 15, 2019, the new Contacts will become the default version on domains, with the Admin console setting removed.
When this happens, all users still using old Contacts will be moved to new Contacts. You won’t be able to change this for your organization, but individual users will still be able to revert back to old Contacts if they want until stage 3 (see below).
Lastly, on February 12, the old Google Contacts will be permanently disabled with no way to access it anymore. This web change was a longtime coming, with the Android client moving faster; having already received the Google Material Theme.