iOS 7: Incorrect display of Company-only contacts

Q: I was just entering a contact in my iPhone that had only a company name, with no first or last name of an individual. When the information was entered and saved, the Company Name is a small font and not bolded, like the company name usually looks when you have entered it in conjunction with an individual’s name. With the old operating system, when I entered contacts like this, the company name displayed bold and large, like the size of the name of an individual.

Is this a glitch, or was there a conscious decision to change how information entered with “company only” information is displayed? Any assistance you can provide would be appreciated.

– Marcus

A: This actually does appear to be a bug in iOS 7—one that hasn’t been fixed even as of today’s iOS 7.0.4 update.

Under the hood, Apple’s Contacts database actually has a field that determines whether a contact record is displayed by a company’s name or individual’s name—it is in fact actually possible to have both the first and last name field and the company name fields filled in, while still having the company name as the displayed field. If you’re a Mac user, you can actually see a checkbox for this when editing a contact in the OS X Contacts app.

iOS 7: Incorrect display of Company-only contacts

In the Contacts app on iOS and, however, this option doesn’t appear. Instead, these apps are supposed to make the determination by themselves based on which fields are filled in. If the first and last name fields are filled in when creating a contact, with or without a company name, the name becomes the primary display field. On the other hand, if only a Company Name is entered, then that becomes the display field, and actually remains so even if a first name and last name is added later. This is how iOS Contacts behaved prior to iOS 7, and how the Contacts app on still behaves. Sadly, iOS 7 doesn’t get this right, and it certainly seems like a bug since it’s inconsistent with the rest of Apple’s Contacts apps, both on OS X and on


iOS 7: Incorrect display of Company-only contacts

The good news, however, is this makes for an easy workaround until Apple fixes the iOS 7 behaviour. Since both OS X Contacts and handle this properly, you can simply create—or even edit—your company-only contacts in one of those places and they will sync back to your iPhone with the company name as the proper display field. Any edits made to existing company-only contacts—even simply adding a note or phone number—will automatically flag the contact as a “company” contact and it should sync back onto your device properly within a few seconds.

Of course, this will unfortunately only work if you’re using iCloud to sync your contacts. If you’re only storing your contacts locally, there’s no other workaround until such time as Apple fixes the issue. Other contact sync services such as Exchange and Google Contacts may also fix the issue provided the contacts are created or edited on the server side rather than directly on the device.




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