Besides the adaption to the Akonadi framework, the user interface will be redesigned to be less 'technical' and more use case oriented. I plan to implement two views, a simple one for fast search and a more complex one for editing and management of contacts. Contacts and contact groups (formally known as 'distribution lists') will be handled in an unique way now (as known from many other address book applications).
Using Akonadi for the data storage/cache and the convenience models in kdepimlibs/akonadi simplifies the code a lot and makes it ready for future extensions. KContactManager is therefore also meant to be an example for how to make use of the new Akonadi framework classes.
At the moment, KContactManager can be used for creating/editing/deleting contacts and contact groups. The contact editor got a face lift: it is cleaner in design and easier to use. Support for custom fields is still missing but the next point on my TODO list. After that, import/export functions will be implemented, then general management functionality (mass editing of contacts), etc.
My goal for KContactManager is to provide an easy-to-use contact management application, that can handle John Doe's local 100-contacts address book as well as the 10,000 contacts from a company's groupware server. No idea if that is a realistic plan, maybe we need two separate GUI's for that... the future will show!