Sunday, April 21, 2013

Contacts: Quick Add From Emails

Contacts App
The Contacts app comes with the iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch devices, one of the native Apple apps. It's essentially an online address book, storing your friends/family names, e-mails and phone numbers.

It's especially handy on the iPad for sending e-mails. Instead of memorizing friends' e-mail addresses (impossible), you can type their name and the Mail app will pull their e-mail address from your Contacts list.

This is easier to show by example.  I want to send an e-mail to my friend, Zoe Smith. So I go into the Mail app, and start a new e-mail.

Oops, I don't remember her e-mail address. I start typing her name in the "To:" field but nothing happens. Zoe is not in my Contacts app - I need to add her.

Tap on the Contacts app icon (see image at the top of the post). Then tap on the Plus (+) sign to add a new contact.

This is the long, manual way to add a contact. After going through this, I'll show you a much quicker way to do it directly from an e-mail.

I add Zoe's information and then click the "Done" button. Zoe is now in my Contacts list.

Now, the e-mail to Zoe is much easier. I just type the first letter of her name and her entry pops up from the Contacts list.

All I have to do is tap her name from the pop-up and her e-mail information will be substituted in the e-mail for me.

Quick Add to Contacts List from Emails - Method #1
There's a quicker way to get e-mail addresses added to your contact list. You just need an e-mail from your friend or have them listed in the e-mail distribution list. Let's run through a couple examples.


I also want to add my friend John Smith to my Contacts. Fortunately, I have an e-mail he is listed in.

A quick tap on his name in the e-mail gives me this pop-up. I tap on "Create New Contact" and John is added to my Contacts!

Next time I start an e-mail to John, if I start typing his last name (or first name), his contact info is immediately available to choose from.

A quick tap on his info and his email is ready-to-go.

Quick Add to Contacts List from Emails - Method #2
Unfortunately, sometimes the quick method to add contacts from e-mails is slightly different, and this can be confusing. It seems to occur when you are pulling an e-mail address that looks like the below example. This was a forwarded e-mail, and John's address was farther down the note. Notice that the e-mail address is spelled out.

Like before, I tap once on John's email address.

But this time, up pops a new email with his address pre-populated in the "To:" field.  But I didnt want this, I wanted to add him to Contacts.

The solution: tap and hold (i.e. loooong tap) on the email address. Then, up pops this option to Add to Contacts.

It's also slightly more cumbersome, because this will add him to contacts, not under his name, but under his e-mail address. You can correct this in the Contacts app.

So, there are two quick methods:
  1. Tap once on the addressee
  2. If #1 fails, tap and hold (long tap) on the email address

Other Contact Options

If you already have a wealth of contacts in your PC with Microsoft Outlook, you can pick them up automatically by syncing to your PC from your iPad. If all your contacts are in a web e-mail account, such as Gmail or Yahoo Mail, you can sync your mail account contacts and your iOS contacts using the Settings app.


  1. It helps me a lot, a pretty nice explanation, thank's for that!

  2. F6658