iPhone Guide: How to Add a Stand-Alone Contacts App

Many of our readers have expressed a desire for a dedicated iPhone Contacts app. While it wasn’t a personal necessity for me (accessing contacts via the Phone app suffices), I recently discovered a straightforward method to achieve this on an iPhone running version 1.1.3.

Currently, this solution requires the use of command-line, though it’s fairly simple to execute. I anticipate that someone from modmyifone will soon release an installer-based method. Here’s how to set it up manually:

Update: I’ve been informed that the “Customize” app, which has facilitated similar modifications for earlier iPhone versions, might soon provide a solution for 1.1.3. Until then, you can use the following manual steps:


Find MobileAddressBook.app This file is located in the /Applications directory of your iPhone.

2. Copy it to a different Applications folder. I use /var/mobile/Media/Applications/, but any directory on your Media partition designated for apps will work. Avoid overcrowding the primary /Applications folder as space on the OS partition is limited. Alternatively, creating a symbolic link from /Applications to ~/Applications is an option. I personally prefer using the /Widgets folder for my symbolic link due to its higher safety margin.

(Interestingly, any app moved to /Widgets is recognized by SpringBoard as an application.)

3. Assign a new bundle identifier. Modify the Info.plist file within the app bundle to include a unique identifier. This should be a non-standard string, different from com.apple.MobileAddressBook. You might need to convert the Info.plist from binary to text format, which can be done using plutil on the iPhone (plutil -c xml1 Info.plist). This step allows the modified app to run alongside the original without any ID conflicts.


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Joshua is a dedicated writer for TUAW, bringing readers the latest news and insights on all things Apple. With a keen eye for detail, Joshua covers everything from the newest iPhone releases to the latest updates in macOS. His articles are a go-to source for Apple enthusiasts who want to stay informed about their favorite products, including the iPad, Apple Watch, and MacBook. Joshua’s straightforward and engaging writing style makes complex tech topics easy to understand for everyone.