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Android: Import Apple AddressBook Contact Groups

Importing an Apple AddressBook Contact Groups into Android

I just got an HTC EVO 4G instead of an iPhone. I’ve lost my loyalty to Apple over their anti-Christian bias, but that is another story. However, my main business platform is Mac based for web design. My main concern for the new phone was transferring my AddressBook and iCalendar to the Android and being able to use it. It turned out to be a lot simpler than I thought and I found two ways of doing it.

The Google Contacts Way to Sync an AddressBook database.

You have to have a Google Gmail account to use this method. Apple AddressBook has a preference option to sync your contacts to your Gmail account.

Apple Addressbook Sync options

Apple Addressbook Sync options

The problem with the sync option is that if you have a thousand email and phone contacts, your Google account and then your Android will be flooded with useless contacts that clutter your phone. When you want to find someone, you’ll have to do a lot of scrolling. I found this method to be very unhelpful, and I had to go in to my Android and delete all my contacts and start over.

However, I found a way to export just selected Groups that I use regularly: Friends, Clients, Stores, and Family. I named them CellFriends, CellStores, etc. In AddressBook, all you need to do is click on a Group to select it and then choose from the File Menu>Export>Export Group as vCard. Then scroll to the bottom of your Gmail Contacts menu and select Import Contacts… Select the Group you just exported and Google does the rest.
What is really nice about this method is that your contacts are lean and mean. Now when you sync your Android to your Gmail Contacts, you have a manageable contact list.

Import Contacts into Gmail

Import Contacts into Gmail

The SyncMate Way… without Google

Why stumbling around searching for answers to my quest, I ran into this free app called SyncMate. This app installs on your Mac and a client app installs on your Android. It comes in two flavors: Free and Expert.  If you just want to sync contacts and calendars, the free version will suit you. But if you want to sync Safari Bookmarks, iTunes and other things, the Expert version will do it for you. Although I tried to follow Google’s instructions for importing my MobileMe iCalenders, all of them failed to import into my Gmail account. I think since Apple moved to iCal to mobile, there is something that doesn’t work right. However, the SyncMate was able to sync my iCal with no problems, and it is a direct connection between the computer and the smartphone.

I had to use my USB connector to get my Android to work with SyncMate and my Mac for two reasons. My desktop has no Airport WiFi and I couldn’t get my Bluetooth to recognize my phone with SyncMate. I have Bluetooth set up directly between the phone and my computer, but something didn’t quite work with the app. Not sure why. Anyway, just wanted to let you all know that there is life outside of Apple and the Android plays well and gets along nicely with a Mac environment.

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