How do I create/insert groups?

Android Contacts API Library written in Kotlin with Java interoperability. No more ContentProviders and cursors. Say goodbye to ContactsContract. Build your own contacts app!

How do I create/insert groups?

This library provides the GroupsInsert API that allows you to create/insert groups associated to an Account.

An instance of the GroupsInsert API is obtained by,

val insert = Contacts(context).groups().insert()

A basic insert

To create/insert a new group for an Account,

val insertResult = Contacts(context)
        title = "Besties",
        account = Account("", "")

If you need to insert multiple groups,

val newGroup1 = NewGroup("Goodies", Account("", ""))
val newGroup2 = NewGroup("Baddies", Account("", ""))

val insertResult = Contacts(context)
    .groups(newGroup1, newGroup2)

Groups and Accounts

A set of groups exist for each Account. When there are no accounts in the system, there are no groups and inserting groups will fail.

The get accounts permission is required here because this API retrieves all available accounts, if any, and does the following;

For more info on the relationship of Groups and Accounts, read How do I retrieve groups?

Groups and duplicate titles

The Contacts Provider allows multiple groups with the same title (case-sensitive comparison) belonging to the same account to exist. In older versions of Android, the native Contacts app allows the creation of new groups with existing titles. In newer versions, duplicate titles are not allowed. Therefore, this library does not allow for duplicate titles.

In newer versions, the group with the duplicate title gets deleted either automatically by the Contacts Provider or when viewing groups in the native Contacts app. It’s not an immediate failure on insert or update. This could lead to bugs!

Executing the insert

To execute the insert,


Handling the insert result

The commit function returns a Result.

To check if all inserts succeeded,

val allInsertsSuccessful = insertResult.isSuccessful

To check if a particular insert succeeded,

val firstInsertSuccessful = insertResult.isSuccessful(newGroup1)

To get the Group IDs of all the newly created Groups,

val allGroupIds = insertResult.groupIds

To get the Group ID of a particular Group,

val secondGroupId = insertResult.groupId(newGroup2)

Once you have the Group IDs, you can retrieve the newly created Groups via the GroupsQuery API,

val groups = contactsApi
    .where { Id `in` allGroupIds }

For more info, read How do I retrieve groups?

Alternatively, you may use the extensions provided in GroupsInsertResult. To get all newly created Groups,

val groups = insertResult.groups(contactsApi)

To get a particular group,

val group =, newGroup1)

Handling insert failure

The insert may fail for a particular group for various reasons,

insertResult.failureReason(newGroup1)?.let {
    when (it) {
        TITLE_ALREADY_EXIST -> promptUserToPickDifferentTitle()
        INVALID_ACCOUNT -> promptUserToPickDifferentAccount()
        UNKNOWN -> showGenericErrorMessage()

Cancelling the insert

To cancel an insert amid execution,

.commit { returnTrueIfInsertShouldBeCancelled() }

The commit function optionally takes in a function that, if it returns true, will cancel insert processing as soon as possible. The function is called numerous times during insert processing to check if processing should stop or continue. This gives you the option to cancel the insert.

For example, to automatically cancel the insert inside a Kotlin coroutine when the coroutine is cancelled,

launch {
    withContext(coroutineContext) {
        val insertResult = insert.commit { !isActive }

Performing the insert and result processing asynchronously

Inserts are executed when the commit function is invoked. The work is done in the same thread as the call-site. This may result in a choppy UI.

To perform the work in a different thread, use the Kotlin coroutine extensions provided in the async module. For more info, read How do I use the async module to simplify executing work outside of the UI thread using coroutines?

You may, of course, use other multi-threading libraries or just do it yourself =)

Extensions for Kotlin Flow and RxJava are also in the v1 roadmap.

Performing the insert with permission

Inserts require the android.permission.WRITE_CONTACTS and android.permission.GET_ACCOUNTS permissions. If not granted, the insert will do nothing and return a failed result.

To perform the insert with permission, use the extensions provided in the permissions module. For more info, read How do I use the permissions module to simplify permission handling using coroutines?

You may, of course, use other permission handling libraries or just do it yourself =)