Google Contacts and the G1

I have not been the slightest bit tempted by the iPhone but I’m a little interested in the idea of the G1 Android phone. Our AT&T contracts aren’t up until this spring so I’ve got lots of time to mull over the decision but I’m beginning to like the idea of it. I’ve been reading up some of the reviews of the G1 such as these from Download Squad and Engadget.

The reviews mention how easy it is to set up the phone, particularly if you are already using the Google services. I spent years resisting them because I hated to give up so much of my information to them but eventually I said “screw it” and stopped fighting. I’ve started keeping my to-do lists and scratch pads in Google docs, using Gmail for all my various accounts and so on. One of the things I did not have, though, was my address book from my MacBook in Google Contacts.

A little research showed that it is possible to sync contacts from OS X to Google. There is a catch though. It only works if you have (or have ever synced) an iPhone or iPod Touch with your computer. Luckily though, there is a workaround. If you have entries for any iPod (like I do for the Shuffle I once owned until it died) you can do a hack to make your Mac think you have an iPhone. I tried this early this evening, and then synced my Address Book to my Nokia phone with iSync. While it never showed Google as a device and gave no indication it was syncing to Google, when it was done I looked and sure enough, my contacts were up there. That’s a big win. If I do ever get an Android phone now, simply setting up my GMail should download all my phone numbers into the phone. The cost of migrating is essentially nil. Because iSync is set up, I don’t have to think about it. Whenever I sync my current cell phone, Im uploading contacts. It’s a sweet deal. Even if I never get a G1, it’s not terrible to have a backup of all that information somewhere outside the house, especially somewhere easily accessible via a kiosk or any internet device.

This may go nowhere, but I’m glad I did this.

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Dave Slusher is a blogger, podcaster, computer programmer, author, science fiction fan and father. Member of the Podcast Hall of Fame class of 2022.

3 thoughts on “Google Contacts and the G1”

  1. Ken Kennedy says:

    That’s a sweet li’l hack! I have the same reservations about putting all my data eggs in one basket, but bit by bit, I’m getting sucked in as well. I’ve been doing Contact merges into Google slowly for the past couple days, and it’s nifty to see them just “show up” on the G1. So far, it’s pretty nice.

  2. I don’t know jack about the iPhone or the
    Android, but I would have to go with Google just because I find the word “android” irresistible.

  3. Chris C. says:

    I have been HUGELY interested in the Google Android platform since it was announced a year ago. I’m still running my Palm OS flip phone ( ) and my life revolves around Palm PIM functions. Contacts, calendar, notepad plus encrypted passwords in KeyRing. My work blackberry takes care of web browsing and SMS for me.

    There’s been nothing on the market to adequately replace my current phone (small + Palm + flip) and so I’m now 5+ years into this phone. But I have faith that a future Android phone will meet me requirements and I’ll finally be able to upgrade.

    Note that the G1 is really kind of a beta hardware phone. They just wanted to get some hardware to market so that developers had something they could start playing with. So personally I wouldn’t buy it just yet, but I take these things veeeery seriously and need my phone to be rock solid once I commit to it. I’m pretty damn excited about the future of this thing.

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