ANSWER: I’m going to answer the easy question first. Yes, you can absolutely have two email accounts, one with AT&T and one with Gmail. Once you have both accounts set up, you can check them both individually or, if you are using desktop software like Microsoft Outlook or an email app on your smartphone or tablet, you can combine both email accounts into one universal inbox.
Keep in mind that even when you are using a combined email inbox, email replies to individual emails will be sent using the same account that you received the email in. In other words, if you receive an email from your AT&T account, a reply to the email will be sent using your AT&T account, not your Gmail account. This can be overridden but I wanted you to be aware of the default behavior.
Sharing contacts on the other hand, might not be so straightforward. I can definitely tell you that if you are logging into each account individually using your web browser on a computer, the contacts will not be shared between the two accounts.
However, just like the universal inbox example I described above, if you are using desktop software like Microsoft Outlook or an email app on your smartphone or tablet, you may be able to access the contacts from both accounts. Just know that the contacts are still managed separately.
A side effect of sending a Gmail using an AT&T contact is that Gmail may decide to automatically add the contact to your Gmail account since, as far as Gmail is concerned, you’ve never used the contact in Gmail before. This could either be a good thing or a bad thing depending on your stance towards having one contact stored in multiple places.
Do you have a question for Mr. Noobie®? Submit your question here.