As far as I have seen, there is no way to sort contacts by last name. Instinct only sorts contacts by first name. Imagine if your phone book was sorted by first name! It would be unuseable! I have about 600+ contacts in my phone. So there's like 20 Johns. And, since there's no search feature, it's a real pain finding a name. Samsung doesn't have an answer and neither does Sprint. Hopefully someone will put out a software update to fix this glaring error. Why in the world would you want to sort contacts by first name? Crazy.
Why not just switch the names yourself in you contacts. Instead of John Smith have it as Smith John I know this will take time and is a pain but it would work. Also I haven't looked is there something in Mobile Sync that will help say format name or something.
They took simplicity to its ultimate extreme with this phone, leaving us who expect a little more, users of the Sanyo handsets, or A900m, and others,in the dust.
Yeah, I suppose you could export your contacts from Mobile Sync, open the csv file in Excel, Do a Text to Columns on the Name field, sort by last name, concatenate them back together.. and then you could have everyone sorted by last name. Save csv, then replace delete everyone on Mobile Sync, import the csv file, then Sync, and voila.
Pain in the butt tho, heh
I agree that this is a huge problem. Samsung did not think the contact's database through. They need to seperate out the name field in First Name, Last Name and make a Company name field available. Now they are all in one field. To add to this problem, the address field is now one. This was a major problem for me when I had to sync my palm to the instinct. It lost all the addresses because the palm provide seperation between address, city, state and zipcode. I now have to re-enter all my addresses and as stated by ImNoPrince have to switch my First and Last name so they can sort in a way that is usable. It is difficult to find a contact quickly. Hate this!
Since I have owned cell phones I've always put in new people by "Lastname, Firstname" Luckily I did - it's a lot easier to do it that way thaqn to try and change a bunch of names later!
It would be nice to be able to type the first letters of the first or last name instead of scrolling the right hand side bar.
I was concerned about this, too, from the moment I acquired my Instinct. With every previous cell phone I've owned, the contacts list was presented to me sorted by last name then first name, which is the only sensible way (IMO). So I entered my Instinct contacts information in the form "lastname, firstname".
The entries are presented to me in the desired order, but there are some undesirable second-order consequences.
In the discussion that follows, I'll assume an entry for firstname=John and lastname=Towers. The Instinct software appears to assume it would be entered in the contacts list as "John Towers"; at least, all the examples in the user manual are consistent with that. I've entered it as "Towers, John" and it is presented to me sorted next to otherentries with a last name of Towers(if any), rather than among the Johns.
One undesirable consequence is that the comma is considered part of the name that it follows, so that the contacts list entry has a field for "Towers,'s history". This would appear sensibly as "John's history" if the name had been entered, as the software assumes, as "John Towers" instead of "Towers, John".
A possible additional undesirable consequence (unconfirmed) is interference with the ability to use voice command to call this contact list entry. I've never succeeded in being able to call any of my contacts by voice command, and I suspect that the comma may be the culprit; it's also possible that I just didn't speak the names in the right order. I haven't investigated that problem in detail yet.
In any event, the proper solution, as abeerh noted, is for the software to unambiguously tag the first and last names upon entry, or something equivalent. Then, they can be sorted and presented in the form "lastname, firstname" yet still allow voice command calling to be accomplished by speaking "firstname lastname" by convention (and also allow for a sensible labeling of the entry's history list). In the case of companies, as abeerh also noted, a different mechanism is needed. An alternative to all of this would be to take two multiword text strings on entry, the first to be used for voice command dialing and thelabeling of the history list and the second for sorting. As long as the entries are sorted according to the second string, I don't strongly care whether the convention for display is to use the first string or the second (though I slightly prefer the second).