SmarterContacts – Frequently Asked Questions

What information does SmarterContacts use to compare contacts?

SmarterContacts looks at the names of a contact and tries to find contacts with a similar name. We have found that this is the most intuitive way of matching contacts and delivers great results.

How does SmarterContacts identify similar contacts?

Finding exactly matching names is relatively easy - the power of SmarterContacts lies in using a “fuzzy search” to look for similar contacts. In order to do that it uses an extended version of the “Levenshtein Difference” to calculate a “similarity index” (100=exactly matching, 0=completely different). It then uses the similarity index of the closest match to a contact to classify the contact into one the four different groups described below.

How does SmarterContacts display potential duplicates?

Based on how similar the best match to a contact is, a contact is classified into one of the following groups and colored accordingly:

There are some matches that I don’t understand and some contacts that should be similar but aren’t identified as a potential duplicate. What’s going on?

I’ve done a lot of testing with “real world data” to develop an algorithm that works well, but there may always be situations or special cases that the app is not handling well. Please send us an email to with the names of the contacts and we will do our best to improve the app!

How can I delete contacts or merge similar records?

If you want to make changes to your contacts, at this point you have to use the standard Contacts app. I’m working on functionality for merging contacts and will include that in the next major version of this app.

I’ve got a spreadsheet or a database of contact information that I would like to have checked for duplicates. Can you help?

In addition to developing iPhone apps, I’m also providing data quality consulting services. Please send me an email with some details and I’ll be happy to offer some suggestions on how I can help you improve the quality of your data.

Is my contact information stored on your server?

If you are concerned about the privacy of your data, there is no need to worry about SmarterContacts: The analysis is completely done on your iPhone - no contact information ever leaves your phone. As I haven’t got your data, I can’t store it. Even if you send me screenshots or other information when you require support, I will only use that data in conjunction with your case.

Where can I get more information?

If you have a question that this FAQ doesn’t answer or you are looking for some more information, you can send me an email to I’m always interested in your feedback and suggestions!