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Address Book can't correctly find partial phone numbers Apps
I recently discovered what appears to be an intriguing bug in the search function of Address Book 3.1.1. I have reproduced it on multiple systems.

I was pleased to discover that the search function would parse any text within a contact rather than simply the name or company name, as Entourage does. Today I received a call that listed a number that I knew was familiar, but to which I could not place a name. So I entered the last four digits of the phone number - "4407" - into the search bar, but nothing came up. I looked through the contacts manually and found the contact in question, and the phone number listed did in fact contain 4407. Puzzled, I entered in the last four digits of another number that I knew I had in Address Book - "0220" - and this time, it DID produce the correct contact. I tried to determine whether there were any significant differences between these two phone numbers, but the only thing I noticed was that the second one was a palindrome. On a lark I entered in the first number in reverse order - "7044" - and ... wait for it ... it pulled up the contact with the "4407" number.

Somehow, Address Book will only match partial phone numbers when the reverse is entered into the search box. Try it! Amuse your friends! Fun at parties!

[robg adds: I confirmed this on my machine as well, and it extends beyond partial phone numbers. I tried searching on my phone number, which is entered as "(123) 456-7890." If I search for "(123) 456-," then my record is found. If I add in the "7890," then Address Book tells me that there are no matches. Very strange bug...]
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Address Book can't correctly find partial phone numbers | 11 comments | Create New Account
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Mail, too?
Authored by: Nobody Special on Feb 25, '04 10:32:38AM

Interestingly, I had the same problem with Mail the other day. A friend sent me an e-mail with a phone number in it. A few days later, remembering just the last four digits, I did an "Entire Message" search to find the e-mail, and though the number was 123-456-7890, the search for 7890 yielded nothing.



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Address Book can't correctly find partial phone numbers
Authored by: joestalin on Feb 25, '04 11:48:18AM

Not that it excuses this bizarre behavior, but I think there may be a logical reason behind this.

Phone numbers are unusual in that it is a little more efficient to match them from back to front, because you don't need to worry so much about whether the area code is there. So I can imagine that a clever programmer said "aha! I'll just reverse the phone-number field and reverse the requested phone number, and save myself a few operations." But he forgot to include that flip on phone numbers keyed into the search field. Or something like that



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Use BuddyPop
Authored by: wackazong on Feb 25, '04 11:52:31AM

At least for Addressbook there is a remedy: Just install Buddypop and use that for searching. Its really fast and finds everything.



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... or Mail Scripts
Authored by: aamann on Feb 25, '04 01:08:42PM
...or use Mail Scripts for Address Book searching - it also lets you search for combinations, multiple fields, specified fields, ...

http://homepage.mac.com/aamann/

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Address Book can't correctly find partial phone numbers
Authored by: ulrich on Feb 25, '04 12:21:21PM

[robg writes: I confirmed this on my machine as well, and it extends beyond partial phone numbers. I tried searching on my phone number, which is entered as "(123) 456-7890." If I search for "(123) 456-," then my record is found. If I add in the "7890," then Address Book tells me that there are no matches. Very strange bug...]

It is a bug, but if you turn around the last two digits and type in '7809', it will find the entry with the phone number ending on '7890'.



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Address Book can't correctly find partial phone numbers
Authored by: Mac112 on Feb 25, '04 12:21:54PM

If You are using the auto-format to enter numbers, You should also type the number in the search-field without spaces or hyphens. My number is displayed as 12 34 56 78 in AB. If I type 12345678 it will be found, if i type 12 34 56 78 it will not.



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Address Book can't correctly find partial phone numbers
Authored by: mgharris on Feb 25, '04 01:00:30PM

On a related note, I find the search facility in Mail not to be fully functional. In searching, say, "Entire Message" in a particular mailbox, you will find that matches are made only at the beginning of words. For example, entering "immed" will match "immediately", but "diately" will not. Try it; you won't like it. I've reported this to Apple. The great incremental search in Preview, by contrast, behaves as desired.



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A partial solution
Authored by: Moebius on Feb 25, '04 01:21:43PM

As pointed on several sites, a partial solution can be to disable the "Automatically format phone numbers" option in Address Book preferences.



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Address Book can't correctly find partial phone numbers
Authored by: Plums on Feb 25, '04 01:31:24PM

I posted this on MacInTouch, and as a bug report to Apple, in December. Please take the time to *report* it. Maybe we can get them to fix it. :-)

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Unpredictable



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Address Book can't correctly find partial phone numbers
Authored by: rofl on Feb 27, '04 02:03:12AM

I'm using an localized Version, and I don't have this bug.

If I search "260", I got "260". Tested it several times.



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260?
Authored by: jiclark on Feb 27, '04 10:42:40PM

When you say '260', it doesn't sound like you're searching on the last four digits of the number... If you look at the hint more closely, you'll see that it's the last four number of any ten-digit number that get crossed. So if you're searching on Area Code or prefix, you won't see the problem...



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