Tuesday, September 21, 2010

OS X 10.6: Synchronizing Address Book to Google Contacts

The Help file for OS X 10.6.4 (Snow Leopard) Address Book sync to Google Contacts links to this oddly named Google page: Where can I find information about Contact Sync? - Contact Sync Help.

This is what we get.

I'm working up to trying this. Currently I sync my iPhone contacts like this:
  1. Corporate: to and from Exchange 2007 [1].
  2. iPhone Personal <-> MobileMe Contacts
There are two additional syncs
  1. MobileMe <-> OS X Address Book <-> Google Contacts (My Contacts)
The last of these is mediated by Spanning Sync.

Both MobileMe and Spanning Sync cost money. I could easily live without MobileMe Contacts.

So I'm considering either  ...
  1. iPhone Personal <-> OS X Address Book <-> Google Contacts
  2. iPhone Personal <-> Google Contacts <-> OS X Address Book
Either way the Google Contacts to OS X Address Book would be mediated by Contact Sync.

Remember how easy this all way with the Palm III?

[1] This means my employer can wipe my iPhone at any time. This might or might not delete photos. Everything else is either synchronized or backed up, but a remote wipe would be a pain. Know your risks.


Martin said...

Remember how easy this all way with the Palm III?

Today's HotSync equivalent is easy too (except for iTunes OS), the problem starts with OTA syncing and multiple devices … on the other hand, I still miss the Palm dock with the sync button … :)

Eric said...

Address Book Accounts pref "Synchronize with Google" option appears to work syncing AB with Google. Major caveat: as far as I can see AB will NOT sync unless you manually Sync using iSync or Sync menubar icon. (The latter will work even without MobileMe although occasionally triggering a sync will pop up a MobileMe login error.) But requiring a manual sync is beyond lame.

The iPhone does sync to/from Google contacts very quickly using Exchange. As far as I've found so far, however, the only way to make the AB sync automatic is to run gconsync from terminal, which can be automated with lingon - see this thread http://www.google.com/support/forum/p/Google%20Mobile/thread?tid=69dae97a4171354b&hl=en.

I'd love to hear any better solutions.

Eric said...

I should add that turning on Google Sync in AB at first appears to be doing nothing. But contacts are in fact merging. Unlike Exchange, server, or MobileMe syncing you will see no progress bar in the application after changes made somewhere, only in the Sync menubar icon (assuming you have it visible there). Note: I first copied all contacts *to* Google by syncing with iPhone via iTunes with Sync Google Contacts turned on, and then turning OFF all iTunes syncing.

pideja said...

My problems started when I moved to a Mac plateform : all my data was syncronized between Outlook and my Palm IIIc using the craddle or by infrared. This primitive setup worked fine almost all the time. Now on the Mac, I got the "great idea" to install Outlook 2011 for MAC thinking it was the same app as on the PC. Big mistake. Although Outlook is fine of itself, it can't communicate with anything else! That makes my Palm isolated. No synch possible, not even with Outlook for PC! I'd gladly get an iPod Touch or phoe but how to get all that data from the Outlook for Mac (been using it for three years: new data) and the Palm. At least if I could export once the Palm data to...something that could sync with iPod/Phone thru iTunes. As it is I have multiple isolated contacts & calenders. CHAOS!