Previous 1 2 Next 20 Replies Latest reply: Jan 22, 2012 8:58 AM by John Muccigrosso
LinkTiger Level 1 (0 points)

When I try to sort my Contacts by "Last, First", iOS (version 5 on iPhone 4) actually sorts them by Phonetic last name, then phonetic first name. I have populated the Phonetic names of some people with deceptive name spellings so I can voice dial them, but obviously want them to sort by their actual listed spelling—silent letters and all. Is there a way to work around this problem or is this an Apple bug.

iPhone 4, iOS 5
  • Brendon B Level 1 (0 points)

    I am having the same issue as well. It does not make sense to sort by phonetic names--they are only for pronunciation (for things like Siri). Any insights on this?

  • A. Heimert Level 2 (245 points)

    Having the same problem.  Seems like an extremely goofy bug--i.e., it shouldn't happen at all.

  • Paultech Level 1 (0 points)

    Yep. Must be a bug.

  • John Muccigrosso Level 1 (100 points)

    I just discovered that a phonetic first name with other regular names will cause the contact to be found under right last name initial, but sorted as if the phonetic name were the last name.


    Totally a bug.

  • mjruss Level 1 (20 points)

    Ditto here.  Makes putting phonetic names in almost LESS convenient not more.


    How do we wave this in front of Apple so they can work on fixing it?

  • mjruss Level 1 (20 points)

    Answered my own quesiton.  Please, everyone, go here and shout:



    Maybe if enough of us say "this isn't helpful" they'll fix it in iOS 10.  LOL

  • John Muccigrosso Level 1 (100 points)

    Just tested in AddressBook on my Macbook, where it happens too. The sorting is a bit different, presumably because it looks at the fields differently, but the underlying bug is the same: it's not ignoring phonetic names, which is the correct behavior.


    Bug report filed.

  • John Muccigrosso Level 1 (100 points)

    Gruber posted a link to something relevant on Daring Fireball. This issue is that these fields were designed for using non-Roman alphabets (e.g., Chinese), so that those foreign words would, among other things, sort correctly.


    That said, given that Siri can use them, it would be nice if there were an option to turn off sorting by those fields, whether globally or one at a time.

  • computersWTF Level 1 (0 points)

    Basic searches for "sort phonetic iphone" turn up LOADS of gripes about the downside of using the phonetic fields (non-alphabetized sorting) which almost certainly outweigh the benefits of same field's use.


    Look at these ARCHIVED discussions (TONS of views, no fixes replied with) on Apple's own support forums from YEARS ago. Why hasn't this obvious BUG been addressed in years worth of updates? Come on Apple!




    Address Book Alphabetizes Names by Phonetic Spelling

    201 Views 0 Replies Latest reply: Feb 1, 2009 2:04 PM by Merged Content 1 RSS

    When entering a phonetic spelling in Address Book for a Contact's name that is hard to pronounce, Address Book files that Contact by the phonetic spelling instead of their real name. It is very odd to file Contacts this way; most people look up someone's name by the way it is spelled. It is too difficult to remember letters used to aid pronunciation when looking it up. For example, a common Vietnamese name 'Nguyen' is actually pronounced 'wen'. If I enter 'wen' in the phonetic spelling field, I will have to remember to look up Mr. Nguyen under 'W'.
    Filing under the contact's real name would be best, but an option could be at least allowing a choice between the real and phonetic name; just like the choice of filing by 'Company' or 'Contact' that Address Book currently has.

    Anyone figured a work around for this? I sent Apple feedback on the problem, but it hasn't changed in 3 years.



    Address book -- turn off phonetic sorting?

    120 Views 0 Replies Latest reply: Sep 10, 2009 8:48 PM by bryston

    In order to make better use of the iPhone 3GS voice control dialing feature, I have add phonetic representations for some of my contacts. However, when I do this I noticed that the address app sorts these contacts by their phonetic spelling. (For instance the name 'Zhou' is pronounced 'Jo', and is sorted under the letter J).


    This seems kind of weird default behavior and should at least be configurable. Anyone know some way to do this?


    MBP Unidbody, Mac OS X (10.6)

  • Warren Liu Level 1 (95 points)

    Agree. It's how I use my address book where I actually put the chinese/korean/japanese characters of friends under phonetic field and their english names in the normal name fields. Now all of them are under the # category instead of the appropriate alphabetical order. I think the simplest way is for Apple to implement way to turn off phonetic sorting as an option.


    Annoying as it is, the Search function kinda makes this a moot point because Search will search both normal name and phonetic name field which I can understand why its a low priority issue to fix as opposed to some of the other more glaring bugs that may be on Apple's bugtraq lists.

  • John Muccigrosso Level 1 (100 points)



    You realize you're using this in exactly the opposite way it was intended, right?


    I have suggested above that there be an option for turning off the sorting by phonetic, but your complaint really makes a hash of the whole idea of the phonetic fields, since you're intentionally not putting phonetic spellings in the phonetic field.

  • A. Heimert Level 2 (245 points)

    Right or wrong, the point still stands.  The sort order is by the asian characters he's put in the phonetic field, when there's no reason the phonetic field should be used for sorting (or at least should be something you turn on--I suppose someone who's a really bad speller (or has bad memory) might look for a name like "Chris" under the K listings.

  • Warren Liu Level 1 (95 points)

    Yes I know but sometimes I don't remember the character names but remember their english names so it works better for me. I think what we are all hoping for is that Apple allows us that flexibility although I'm not optimistic as someone like me is definitely in the minority as the userbase in Asia far as I know it uses it the way John commented on.

  • A. Heimert Level 2 (245 points)

    You could also put the asian characters in the Nickname field.  Then you wouldn't get a funny sort and it would show up on their contact card.

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