Oct 8, 2010

Synchronizing iPhone 4 with Google without iTunes

Today I received a brand new iPhone 4. Life was joyful. However it gave me some frustrating moments before I could use it for real. Here is the true story what happened when I got my iPhone 4.

I had prepared the migration by backing up my contacts from my HTC Hero. The HTC had no way to export contacts to a SIM card, but only to SD card. Strangely enough it was possible to import contacts from a SIM card. Anyway I did not consider this to be a big problem, since exporting to the SD card should work fine.The contacts was saved as a VCF file. This was easily imported by double-clicking on the file. When this was done, all the google contacts was on my Mac Book. After I started and initialized the iPhone, it was connected via a USB cable to the Mac Book. Consequently iTunes was started with a wizard. One of the steps was the sync setup. By default all contacts was to be synced. Perfect! This was exactly what I wanted. A couple of more steps and I pressed the “Sync”-button.

After a short while something really odd happened. A warning message saying that no synchronization of contacts was not possible, since the phone was not connected. What! The phone was connected. Not good! I discovered a button labeled “Restore”. The help text explained that this should be used when in trouble. I felt like being in trouble and hit the restore button. The process was really fast, but enough time to get some tea. Then the same procedure once more. Still the same problem. Next try; search the Internet. I found out that I was not alone with this problem. I tried out all of the different solutions explained in the forum. Do not know how many times I cleared the sync settings, restarted the phone, re-booted the computer and all other kinds of tricks. The Apple support pages did not contain any other suggestions than found in the forum. Now I was really frustrated. I should not be that complicated to get your contacts into your new phone. Time to get a break. Get your brain to think in a different way. Reset the brain. Get some food.

Several hours later it was time to try a new approach. I googled “Sync iPhone Google”. I found an article called “Google Sync: Set Up Your Apple Device for Google Sync“. It seemed to be exactly what I was looking for. The article explained how to use add an account in the iPhone to synchronize mail, contacts and calendar. In fact it was a Microsoft Exchange account. It took me less than 5 minutes to have mail, contacts and the calendar in sync.

The final solution was much simpler than copying contacts via the computer. The intent was to only transfer the contacts and then set up a mail account on the phone. Now I get an all-in-one solution,  with mail, contacts and calendar synchronization. Now my life is joyful again.

4 comments:

My Open Source Software Development Blog said...

BTW here is the link to how to setup Google sync:

http://www.google.com/support/mobile/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=138740

Enjoy!

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