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Import (Not Sync) Gmail contacts

Discussion in 'iPad General Discussions' started by Walt Cullop, Nov 11, 2012.

  1. Walt Cullop
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    Walt Cullop iPF Novice

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    After a few months with the iPad I have decided to get the iPhone 5 and this will mean a total break with the android world. When I Google (OOPS I mean search) gmail and iOS contacts I get a plethora of returns about setting up syncing. That doesn't work for me because when I add contacts on the iPAD they don't sync back to the google contacts. What I want is to import the Gmail contacts into iCloud and then delete the linking setup on the iPad. I will be making the purchase soon and want to do this before that. If need be I can use iCloud on my laptop to make changes.

    Since I have gotten the iPad I find I go days or more without turning on the laptop. If it wasn't for my hobby of geocaching I don't think I would need a laptop at all.
  2. AQ_OC
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    AQ_OC Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Just a comment...,I really link keeping all my contacts in google. Since going that route, all my devices get my contacts from there. When I add a contact, I log into my google account and add it there....and it flows to all my devices. Google has done a good job on this, might be a good idea to take advantage of it.
  3. twerppoet
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    twerppoet iPad Legend

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    As AQ_OC said, there are advantages to using Google. Especially if you cross platforms a lot.

    However, if you are all iOS and/or OS X, then iCloud also offers some advantages.

    At any rate, here is how to do it if you decide to go ahead.


    You can go to the Google site and export you contact list as a vCard file (.vfc)

    Exporting Gmail contacts - Gmail Help

    Then either import them directly onto the iPad, or go to icloud.com on a computer and import them.

    On the iPad, just email the file to yourself. When it shows up in the Mail app tap and hold for the menu. It should offer an import to Contacts option. Best to do this after you've set up your iCloud account on the iPad and made sure it is the default account under Setting > Mail, Contacts, Calendars (the default options do not show up if you only have one account on the device).

    The icloud.com site has the import functions somewhere in settings (the gear icon) when the Contacts app is open. I don't remember the details, but it wasn't that difficult.

    This also works in reveres, exporting from icloud.com and importing in the Google site.

    One thing to hold in mind. In both direction you will lose whatever labels/groups you have set up. The vCard format does not support them. If there is a way to keep them intact while migrating I am not aware of it.
  4. Walt Cullop
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    Walt Cullop iPF Novice

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    Thanks for the info. I only recently discovered that making changes in contacts on Ipad don't go back Google. Didn't know that. I guess until the change I will make my changes in the safari browser Google contacts.

    I have made most of my changes to contacts on the iPad contacts. I imagine there are a lot of differences now.
  5. CMacDonald
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    CMacDonald iPF Novice

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    It's a shame that there is still no industry standard for securely sharing & syncing contacts. :(

    Until that day arrives, this approach could meet my needs. A large majority of my contacts are in Gmail. What are the steps to get the contacts to 'flow' down into Contacts in my iPad, preferably without having to manually export & import?

    Sent from my 32 GB iPad 2 using iPF
  6. twerppoet
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    twerppoet iPad Legend

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    You can set your GMail up as an Exchange account. Google will be disabling this setup come January 30th, but existing setups should continue wokring.
    http://www.google.com/support/mobile/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=138740

    Or you can use Google's new CardDAV setup.
    Sync contacts with your iOS device - Gmail Help


    I don't know why the OP's contacts are not syncing in both directions. Either of these setups should work both ways; however neither of them support groups/labels. Only contacts that show up under All Contacts will sync.

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