CardDAV - Which contacts list?

I started using K9 Mail for the first time today. I’ve searched for items about K9 and CardDAV and found nothing so I’m guessing it doesn’t do it yet, is that right ?

When I go to write an email, Android prompts me to allow access to contacts, I have not yet allowed that access.

Since Thunderbird gained the ability to access a contacts list using CardDAV (TB version 91) I have got used to having my contacts list reside on the servers of my chosen hosting company rather than Google. I’m trying to reduce my dependence on Google, this is why I installed K9 rather than use the Gmail client.

If K9 had a CardDAV plugin, my searches would probably have found it by now. What does everybody else do ?

Is CardDAV on a list of developments expected to happen ?

No clue if it’s planned, but I currently use DAVx5 for CardDav (in my case from F-Droid)

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@TheLastProject Thank you, Sorry, I am completely clueless regarding Android contacts. Does your setup give you a contacts list in K9 that is independent and completely divorced from Google ?

DAVx5 allows you to sync with any CardDav server and will add an “Account” to your device that provides contacts (similarly as to how, at least on my device, if I add a new contact I can choose to save it to Google or to Device).

So, your contacts will appear in Android’s Contacts app, but not in your Google account. And if you allow K-9 Mail access to your contacts you should be able to select them when choosing a recipient for your emails.

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Slowly I think I’m gaining a clue. I will have a go at itemising the different contact lists that we are talking about here:

a) The list I want to use which is on a CardDAV service
b) The list I want to avoid like the plague - Gmail
c) An Android Contacts list that is closely linked to and usually identical to the Gmail list.
d) A K9 contacts list.

As I understand it @TheLastProject 's suggestion is:

  1. Use DACx5 to synchronise my CardDAV list with the Android list.
  2. Let K9 synchronise its list with the Android list.

I don’t doubt this could work but I would be a lot happier if I could find a way to do this without my contacts passing through any Google managed list. i.e. a CardDAV import direct to K9’s contact list.

Am I talking sense or is my ignorance all too obvious ?

Android’s contact list is not directly Google managed. Calendar and contacts work a bit differently on Android than on the PC (eg Thunderbird). On Android, you can have contact provider apps that synchronize the contacts and then also apps that display the contacts. These are separate, e.g. you can use an open-source app to display your Google contacts but you can also use the Google Contacts app to display contacts from an open-source provider. I, personally, use an open-source contacts app to display contacts from an open-source provider :wink:

That synchronization system in Android makes it very flexible how you want to manage your contacts. That’s why I am actually against implementing an integrated contacts list in K-9 that basically re-implements the structure that the Android system already provides. An integrated list in K-9 would restrict your choice of provider+display apps. With respect to contacts/calendars, Android is pretty different to a normal PC and should be used like it is designed to be used :slight_smile:


Basically what ByteHamster said. Just like you can have multiple accounts in K-9 Mail, you can have multiple “Accounts” in the Contacts app. Only the contacts in the Google account will be synced to the Google server, just like your non-Google mail accounts in K-9 Mail also won’t send any data to Google servers.


Thank you both very much for helping me towards a better understanding of how a contacts list (the contacts list) works on Android.