Monday, February 9, 2009

Official Gmail Blog: Sync your contacts and calendar with your phone

I'm not the most organized person in the world and that's especially true when it comes to my address book and calendar. My contacts are scattered all over the place: in my phone, in my Gmail account, on the back of business cards and even in a veritable little black book.

We're making staying organized a little easier with a beta version of Google Sync for the iPhone and Windows Mobile phones as well as a contacts-only version for many other devices. Sync uses push technology (Microsoft ActiveSync©) to automatically synchronize your Gmail contacts (using the 'My Contacts' group within Gmail) and/or your Google Calendar events in the background.

Your phone will sync using the your "My Contacts" group within Gmail. Here are some tips for cleaning up that group so it's exactly the people you want to sync, and some big caveats to be aware of in this beta release:
  • iPhone users: Google Sync will remove all existing contacts and calendar events from your phone, so make sure to back up (PC instructions, Mac instructions) your data before you set it up.
  • Remove contacts that you don't want to sync to your phone. From the "My Contacts" section of the contact manager, select the contact you want to remove, click "Groups" and then "Remove from My Contacts."
  • Merge duplicates so and both belong to the same contact. To do so, select both contacts, and click "Merge these 2 contacts." When you merge contacts, your address auto-complete won't work as well as before. We're working on a fix for this, but until that's out you might notice addresses showing up in a suboptimal order in auto-complete, e.g. your friend's work address coming up first when you're used to emailing their Gmail address.
Once you set up Sync, changes you make to your calendar or contacts are reflected on your device within minutes since the connection is over-the-air and always on. And it's two way, so your calendar and contacts are always up-to-date, no matter whether you make changes on your phone or from your browser. Also, since your information is automatically backed up to your Google account, it's securely stored even if you accidentally drop your phone in the pool. Getting your address book and calendar to a new phone is as easy as setting up Sync again.

If you have an iPhone, Windows Mobile device, or a BlackBerry, you can choose to sync both your contacts and calendar, or just one of the two. For devices that support the open SyncML protocol, Google Sync will sync your contacts, but not your calendar.

Try Sync out by visiting or visit our Help Center to review device specific instructions.

No comments: