The “chad bug”.
The Hangouts Dialer on Android absolutely REFUSES to find 2 of my contacts. I have 132 of them in the group “My Contacts” and all of them have phone numbers. Wanting to troubleshoot I tried searching for them one by one in Dialer: it can find 130 but not these 2.
I exported the contacts and looked at the raw Google CSV data. One of the 2 problematic contacts had a whitespace character at the end of its phone number. I removed it. Bingo, Dialer can now find it!
The other contact, “Chad”, has no whitespace though. Why can Dialer not find it? All this contact has is a name, a phone number, and an email address. I tried everything: deleting it, recreating it from Android’s contact editor, recreating it from the desktop at https://contacts.google.com, clearing the cache and data from Hangouts, searching for “Chad” (capital C), saving his email as “Chad@…” or “CHAD@…”, etc. Nothing works, except one thing:
If I remove the email address from this contact… Dialer can find it!
I add the address back… Dialer cannot find it.
I replace “chad@” with “chad2@” in the address… Dialer can find it.
I add multiple addresses along with the real one… Dialer cannot find it.
It is as if Dialer is banning or blocking this specific user based on his email address. Did I block this user by accident (Hangouts options -> Blocked people)? Nope. Did I hid him by accident (Hangouts options -> Settings -> $my_account -> Hidden Contacts)? Nope.
[Edit: even weirder, I can find Chad in the Dialer if I start typing his phone number +13102… so Dialer is aware of the contact. It just won’t let me search his name.]
My version of Hangouts is the latest (6.1.109448852). Ditto for Hangouts Dialer (0.1.100944346). My phone is running Android 5.0.1. I only have 1 Google account on this phone. Nothing fancy.
Please Hangouts team, fix this chad bug.
Also, from an engineering aspect, I am very curious to know the cause of this bug. Off-by-one causing Dialer to see N-1 contacts instead of N? Memory corruption on my phone?
[Edit: the best workaround I came up with is to create TWO contacts, one with just his email address, and one with just his phone number. That way most Google apps see 2 contacts and I pick whichever one I need depending if I want to mail or SMS, and Hangouts Dialer sees only 1 contact (the one without the email address, which is what I need).]