I’m experimenting with creating a .Mac group to send out family photo and movie updates (I haven’t been pleased with the response to the Google Group I setup, unfortunately) and learned something GREAT I thought I’d pass along. As I wrote in my June 11th post, “iPhone, MobileMe, Eudora users and Assisted GPS,” I’ve been grappling with address book synchronization issues for many months. I’ve wanted to sync contacts (as well as calendar items, to dos, etc) across my Macbook address book, my Yahoo mail and calendar, my Exchange server account at work, and now my GMail account for contacts. (I switched from Yahoo Mail to GMail for my personal mail a couple of months ago and have been very pleased with it.) This evening, I discovered the default/built-in address book in Mac OS 10.5.3 now supports contact syncing with both Yahoo and Google. Previously it was just possible to sync contacts to Yahoo via iTunes, if you have and are using an iPhone. Now this can be done directly from the address book preferences pane:
I’m delighted to see this functionality has been added. Google has more info about this sync option with their services. The Google Mac Blog also has a post with info from May 28th. I’m sure this is going to get even better when Mobile Me is released later in July, but I’m glad to see this feature added now. I don’t see any separate options to control the sync of contact info yet at this point, or to manually initiate a sync: It appears this uses the same .Mac sync controls (found in System Preferences) which have been used in the past.
Unfortunately it looks like I am not very “in sync” at present:
Hopefully these new sync options will remedy this! Despite the number of conflicts I need to resolve this evening after choosing these new sync options, I’m THRILLED to have the CHOICE of selecting a sync selection from either .Mac, Google or Yahoo!
ADDITION 1: After playing with this for over an hour, it’s clear things aren’t perfect yet, but at least this is getting better. After repeated syncs, deleting sync history and unregistering/re-registering my Mac, I still can’t get my contacts to show up on the .Mac website interface for contacts. That is frustrating because I wanted to invite people to a new .Mac family/friends group using my contacts… Sync to Google contacts and Yahoo contacts is working, but mysteriously I have different numbers of contacts in each place…..
ADDITION 2: I discovered (via an Apple support discussion comment) that a checkbox must be selected in the ONLINE preferences for your .Mac address book for sync to be enabled. I’m getting contacts to sync now, but I have twice as many as I should and it’s not clear why… Time to give up on this for the night.
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