Syncing gmail contacts
November 30, 2012 6:55 AM   Subscribe

Help syncing contacts to gmail, in prep for an iphone to droid switch.

[Asking for my ladyfriend, will pass on follow-up questions to her.]

iTunes, iPhone users, I need tech help. In preparation for the new phone arrival, I have been trying to make sure that all of my phone numbers are synced to my gmail contacts, so that supposedly, they will just show up on my new droid phone once I set up my google account there. I have synced my contacts via ITunes, and most of my phone numbers show up in my gmail contacts, but not all. I have a bunch of phone numbers on my phone that are for some reason not showing up in my gmail contacts, even when the name on the phone is the same as the name in gmail. Why? And how do I fix this?

And I have googled ,"Some iphone contacts not syncing to google contacts", and tried lots of things including setting up a new exchange account on my phone associated with my gmail account and then syncing again, as per suggestion on Google help forums. No Luck.

Also, when I have a person with 2 phone numbers, like a cell and a landline, on some of them it syncs both numbers, and on some, it only syncs one.
posted by latkes to Computers & Internet (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Is she going to the store, or getting the phone in the mail? When I switched (reverse, got an iPhone), they did it in the store for me -- apparently the best way is if you can manually transfer phone to phone.
posted by DoubleLune at 7:15 AM on November 30, 2012

Is it possible to export iPhone contacts as a CSV file? Because Gmail contacts allows you to import contacts in this way.
posted by KokuRyu at 7:17 AM on November 30, 2012

You've tried all the things that I do to sync my Gmail contacts with my iPhone. One thing to check is "groups" under Contacts to see if you have multiple ones that may be causing a problem in syncing. If you use Apple's iCloud to back up your contacts, you can export the contacts from there into vcard format (see here under contacts). Gmail can import this format. You get 5Gb of storage free in iCloud, so even if you weren't previously backing up, you could back up your contacts now just to do the export.
posted by bluefly at 8:13 AM on November 30, 2012

I used a iPhone->vCard->Google method like bluefly mentions when I made the switch from Apple to Android, and it worked fine. I had to do some manual edits/deletions due to overlap with existing Google contacts, numbers listed as "iPhone," and the like, but everybody got copied out just fine.
posted by zombieflanders at 9:52 AM on November 30, 2012

Also, somewhat related: You might be able to export her SMS messages from the phone, too. I forgot how I did it exactly, but the developer for my preferred SMS/MMS backup and restore app has a somewhat-techie tutorial that looks like it might work.
posted by zombieflanders at 10:03 AM on November 30, 2012

The reason that some phone numbers sync and some do not is because the iPhone has a bunch of phone number categories (main, other, iPhone, etc) that are not supported by GMail sync (actually Exchange Activesync). Alas the iPhone defaults to main.

If you log into GMail through the web and view your contacts, it has no problem showing these fields - in fact it even has the ability to add custom fields; however these custom fields are ignored when synchronizing via ActiveSync. To see only the ActiveSync fields: if you create a new Activesync contact on your iPhone, it will only show the fields that it supports (silly categories like company main, radio and assistant - ActiveSync is old!).

However, Android devices do not use Activesync as the protocol, and should show everything that GMail shows.

To avoid this problem, avoid using "native" iPhone contacts and only use Exchange contacts.
posted by meowzilla at 6:20 PM on November 30, 2012

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