Chapter 31. Address Book

The user’s address book, which the user sees through the Contacts app, is effectively a database that can be accessed directly through a C API provided by the Address Book framework. You’ll link to AddressBook.framework and import <AddressBook/AddressBook.h>.

A user interface for interacting with the address book is also provided, through Objective-C classes, by the Address Book UI framework. You’ll link to AddressBookUI.framework and import <AddressBookUI/AddressBookUI.h>.

Address Book Database

The address book is an ABAddressBookRef obtained by calling ABAddressBookCreate. This method’s name contains “Create,” so you must CFRelease the ABAddressBookRef when you’re finished with it. The address book’s data starts out exactly the same as the user’s Contacts data. If you make any changes to the data, they are not written through to the user’s real address book until you call ABAddressBookSave.

The primary constituent record of the address book database is the ABPerson. You’ll typically extract persons from the address book by using these functions:

  • ABAddressBookGetPersonCount
  • ABAddressBookGetPersonWithRecordID
  • ABAddressBookCopyPeopleWithName
  • ABAddressBookCopyArrayOfAllPeople

The result of the latter two is a CFArrayRef. Their names contain “Copy,” so you must CFRelease the array when you’re finished with it. (I’m going to stop reminding you about memory management from here on.)

An ABPerson doesn’t formally exist as a type; it is actually an ABRecord (ABRecordRef), ...

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