Migrating contacts from Gmail to iCloud
This evening I plan on migrating my contact list across from Gmail to iCloud. I’m sick of the “bucket” style google uses with it’s loose assignment to fields and random changing of data in my contacts list - the most annoying of which is that it keeps losing my own contact details.
This one is pretty simple, I’ve subscribed to almost the entire Mac culture, I have an iPhone, iPad, MacBook Air, Mac Mini and AppleTV 2. Switching across to another Apple product is a no-brainer for me. Perhaps not the best reasoning so lets go with a real argument. I primarily use contact details from my mobile (which is an iPhone) and I think my iPhone is going to best sync with iCloud than another other service where Apple needs to piggy-back on other protocols (eg, ActiveSync) and therefore loses data fidelity.
Why not move everything?
Perhaps this section should be titled “Why not move my email provider”. I currently use a Google Apps mail account utilising my own domain name. I don’t really want to get a me.com email address and have to provide everyone with my new email address. It is very nice to keep my email address completely independent of my mail provider as I can change providers when I want without having to inform anyone who has my email address.
Won’t there be a disconnect?
Gmail has a really nice way of knowing everyone’s email address without you manually adding them to your contact list. It does this by keeping track of everyone you’ve emailed any everyone who has emailed you. As the only real reason you need a synced contact list in Gmail is to allow you to email people easily this fancy footwork from Gmail will allow this to continue happening without keeping the two address books in sync.
What if I want to keep them in sync?
From my research so far this isn’t possible. iCloud uses a proprietary communications protocol from what I gather and therefore there is no easy way of syncing. Additionally this would negate the benefits of switching to iCloud for this as Gmail is likely to mess with you contacts and those changes would then get populated across to iCloud.