Saturday, February 14, 2009

OS X Address Book to Google Apps Contacs using Google ActiveSync

I'm not the only one obsessed with integrating OS X, the iPhone and Google. I found a Google iPhone Help group thread full of fellow crazies.

From that thread I learned that OS X 10.5 Contacts, astonishingly, has its own private abilities to sync with Google Contacts, Yahoo Contacts and ... Exchange Server.

Huh? Why Address Book and not, say, Calendar?!

Good question.

Naturally, a fellow maniac is now using Google's iPhone oriented ActiveSync service to sync their OS X Address Book to Google ...
Google Sync iPhone = Mac OS X Address Book orphaned - Google Mobile Help

1) Go to your Address Book preferences, General Tab.
2) Then check the Exchange box and click on the Exchange button.
3) Enter your Google Apps username (first part e-mail in the E-mail field.
4) The password in the password field.
5) In the Outlook Web Access Server field, enter http://www.google.com/a/yourgoogleappsdomain.com.
6) Check the sync every hour box...
Holy Cow. I'm seriously tempted to try this. The catch is it's easy to backup and restore my OS X Address book, but it's very hard to restore my Google Contacts -- particularly their Group memberships.

Update: See Joe's comment below. I found similar comments elsewhere. This doesn't work with Google's version of Active Sync.

Update 7/1/09: Wade has an interesting comment. I may try this again with the current OS release but I'm also waiting for the new release of Spanning Sync 3 and its implementation of the Google 3.0 API.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi John. Fellow sync nut reading with interest. Tried this idea with address book (leopard) to google which already successfully uses exchange to sync with iphone (thanks to your tip). But no luck. Used SyncNow in the sync menubar item, but no data was transferred.

-Joe

Anonymous said...

Hi John. Fellow sync nut reading with interest. Tried this idea with address book (leopard) to google which already successfully uses exchange to sync with iphone (thanks to your tip). But no luck. Used SyncNow in the sync menubar item, but no data was transferred.

-Joe

John Gordon said...

Thanks Joe, I've seen similar comments elsewhere so I think this one's a no-go.

jereme said...

Culled from this thread:

This solution only works on Leopard.

1. Open Address Book
2. Open Preferences
3. Click General
4. Click 'Synchronize with Google'
5. Enter gmail or google apps credentials

Now this is the point where this solution used to be lame. Previously you had to sync an ipod or iphone to get the contacts to move. What I found on the thread is that you can actually setup a task in a scheduler (i.e. cron).

/System/Library/PrivateFrameworks/GoogleContactSync.framework/Versions/A/Resources/gconsync --sync com.google.ContactSync

This will run the sync task regardless of iphone presence.

My crontab looks like:

0 * * * * /System/Library/PrivateFrameworks/GoogleContactSync.framework/Versions/A/Resources/gconsync --sync com.google.ContactSync 2>&1 /dev/null

This runs the sync on the hour. I've only had it setup for an hour or so, so I'm not 100% sure, but I think this is the best answer.

Eugene Gordin said...

@jereme

After following your suggestion, it doesn't seem to work - checked the console, says this: "failed to retrieve from keychain"

Any ideas? It would be awesome if this could work!

Wade said...

jereme's solution works.

ALso, if you open iSync and go to Preferences -> General and check "Show status in menu bar". Click on the sync icon which is now in the menu bar and you will see that instead of saying "Sync Disabled" it will say "Sync Now". Select "Sync Now" and it will sync your Google contacts.

John Gordon said...

Thanks Wade, I'll take another look. Spanning Sync 3.0 is also going to use the Google API v3 and that will be interesting to look at.

Bruce McL said...

I've been using Syncrospector, which comes with Apple's Developer tools.
Select "Clients" in Syncrospector.
Click on "Google Contacts" in Syncrospector.
Click on the Sync button in Syncrospector.
If you mess with the Sync Mode dropdown you can get things very sideways. You've backed up first, right? And you know about the problems with first name and last name? I would only recommend this if you delete your google contacts first.

Jamie Goodwin said...

Really old thread, I don't know if anyone's still bothering to read this but since I managed to find it by Googling something about restoring address book, I guess it's a popular thread.

I've written a tutorial on fully synchronising iCal/Address book with Google, then Google with iPhone. Ultimately creating free, wireless (Internet) enabled synchronisation of calendar and contacts from OS X to iPhone, using Google as a MobileMe equivalent.

You're welcome to check it out if you wish, http://bit.ly/fMJJ46