We're constantly reviewing user feedback about Gmail, and for a while now the number one request has been for a better contacts experience. You’ve asked us to generally make Contacts easier to use, as well as for specific improvements like sorting by last name, keyboard shortcuts, and custom labels for phone numbers. So, by popular request, we're happy to announce that an overhauled version of Gmail Contacts will be rolling out today.

Contacts now works more like the rest of Gmail, so if you know how to use Gmail, now you should automatically feel comfortable in Contacts too. And you'll see a bunch of the features you've requested, including:
  • Keyboard shortcuts (go to Contacts and hit "?" for the full list)
  • Sort by last name (look under "More actions")
  • Custom labels for phone numbers and other fields
  • The ability to undo changes you've just made
  • Automatic saving
  • Structured name fields, so you can adjust titles, suffixes, and other name components
  • A bigger, more prominent notes field

While we were at it, we also improved our layout and made it easier to get to Contacts and Tasks. You'll see these links are now up at the top left corner of your account (along with a link for "Mail" that takes you back to your inbox).

If you’re not interested in Contacts or Tasks, you can hide these links by clicking near the right edge of "Mail." Overall, there's now a smaller header area that puts the first message in your inbox about 16 pixels higher on the screen than before.

If you use Google Apps, you won't see these updates to Contacts quite yet. We’re actively working on making domain-specific features work well in the new interface and plan to make this new version of Contacts available to Google Apps customers too.

Please keep the feedback coming, we are always working hard to make Contacts, and all of Gmail, better.