You already know that Google is always looking for ways to enhance user experience and this time they are adding some new features that will Google+Enterprise+Blog%29">allow you to share your contacts list in different ways. As always, the inspiration for the upgrades comes via feedback from users.
To begin with, they have added a contact delegation feature. It sounds like an invasion of privacy to merely hand over your information to someone so they extract contacts from your personal "My Contacts" list, but they have addressed the issue.
Here's how they explain it on their support site:
Contacts delegation allows users to delegate full access to the contacts in their “My Contacts” group without granting access to their mail or anything else in their accounts. This is a common delegation practice between some executive users and their assistants and may be used in any situation where a user wishes to share all of his or her contacts with another user.
Contacts delegation uses a familiar Apps sharing interface. You may delegate your contacts only to other users within your domain. Like mail delegation, you may delegate your contacts to no more than 25 other users at the same time. Delegation allows the sharing of the entire “My Contacts” list only. You cannot delegate a subset of your “My Contacts” or delegate contacts not in your “My Contacts.”
Here are some step-by-step directions:
1.) Go to Google Contacts.
2). Click the More pulldown menu immediately above your contacts list and select Manage Delegation Settings.
3). In the Add people text box, enter the email addresses of the users you wish to share your contacts.
4). Click Share & save to finish granting the specified users access to your contacts.
Google has also added a shared directory for everyone in your domain to edit and share. It is a browseable and searchable list of user names and email addresses that even includes nicknames and aliases. As the administrator you can adult the settings to control who does and who doesn't appear in the directory.
To change which email addresses appear in the Google Apps Directory:
1). Sign in to the Google Apps administrator control panel.
The URL is https://www.google.com/a/cpanel/primary-domain-name, where primary-domain-name is the domain name you used to sign up for Google Apps.
2). Click Settings in the menu bar, then Contacts in the left menu.
3). Under Contact Settings, select Enable contact sharing.
4). Specify which email addresses to include in the shared contact list:
* Show all email addresses: Include both the primary email address and nicknames or alias addresses for users in the domain
Note: Domain aliases and multiple domain addresses remain hidden in the domain's Global Address List (GAL), Directory, and autocomplete.
* Hide nicknames: Include only primary email addresses; aliases and nicknames are hidden
* Hide the primary email address if the user has a nickname: Include a user’s manually entered nickname for all contacts; hide the user’s primary email address, aliases, and other user’s nicknames for the contact
5). Choose what is shown in the browsable directory in Contact Manager:
* Show only domain profiles: Include profiles of users with accounts in your domain only.
* Show only domain shared contacts: Include contacts added to the list using the Domain Shared Contacts API. They are people who don't have email addresses in your domain, but who your people need to be able to contact.
* Show both domain profiles and domain shared contacts: Include both the aforementioned internal users and external contacts.
6). Click Save changes.
Hopefully these changes will make your life a little easier and your user experience more pleasant. To learn more about any of the features follow the links associated with them.