Google Contacts on Android prepares to let you change your Google Account profile photo and trash instead of delete contacts

Google Contacts on Android prepares to let you change your Google Account profile photo and trash instead of delete contacts

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Earlier this year in June, we spotted a couple of upcoming features in an APK teardown of the Google Photos app. These included features like temporarily disabling media backups, video autoplay controls, and the ability to set up a Google Account profile photo from within the app. The profile photo option was discovered and demoed by prolific reverse engineer Jane Manchun Wong, who demonstrated how it would allow users to set their Google Account profile picture from within the Photos app. Now, a teardown of the Google Contacts app has revealed that Google is also working on a similar feature for its contacts app.

An APK teardown can often predict features that may arrive in a future update of an application, but it is possible that any of the features we mention here may not make it in a future release. This is because these features are currently unimplemented in the live build and may be pulled at any time by the developers in a future build.

Our Editor-in-Chief, Mishaal Rahman, has managed to manually enable the feature in Google Contacts version 3.31.1 and has shared the following screenshots. As you can see, when your Google Account doesn’t have a profile photo, Google Contacts will show a photo symbol that you can tap to open up the profile photo changer. You can then tap on the ‘Add a profile photo’ button to pick a photo from Google Photos, the camera, or the system gallery.

Along with the Google Account profile photo feature, new strings spotted in the teardown suggest that Google Contacts for Android is also getting a new trash feature. The feature was launched on Google Contacts for the web back in July, and it works exactly like the trash feature in Google Photos.

<string name="trash_banner_title">Why in Trash?</string>
<string name="trash_empty">Trash is empty</string>
<string name="trash_loading_banner_title">Loading contacts from Trash</string>

Once the feature goes live, Google Contacts on Android will get a new Trash folder, and deleted contacts will be moved to this folder instead of being permanently removed the device. This will allow users to restore deleted contacts from the folder for up to 30 days, after which the contacts will be permanently removed. In that 30 day time period, users will get the option to view, restore, or permanently delete the contacts from their device.

As of now, we have no information on the release timeline for these new features. But since the code has already been added to the Google Contacts app, the features may be released on the stable channel anytime soon.


Thanks to PNF Software for providing us a license to use JEB Decompiler, a professional-grade reverse engineering tool for Android applications.