Sunday, September 4, 2011

iPhone: Google Contacts Sync and Removing Duplicate Contacts

For those who are interested in syncing your Google Contacts onto your iPhone, I highly recommend it! The process is simple.

Syncing Google Contacts
[1] Sync your Address Book.

  • Open Address Book.
  • Click on Address Book > Preferences
  • Click the checkbox for Sychronizing with Google
  • Enter your username and password.

[2] Add a Google Account to your iPhone
  • Go to Settings > Mail Contacts Calendars > Add Account...
  • Select Gmail
  • Enter the appropriate username and password.
  • Set the sync options as appropriate: Mail, Contacts, Calendars will all be things you'll likely want On
  • When you turn Contacts On, it will ask you what to do with your phone's current contacts. When it asks to delete the phone's local contacts, you should agree to this step PROVIDED that all your contacts information is on Google's server.
Now, your iPhone should contain all your Google contacts. 

A related but different issue involves having duplicate contacts on your phone. I had this for a while, and it was pretty annoying. My profile pictures for various contacts were changed, but not really (depending on which of the two contacts I had altered), and the custom ringtone assignments sometimes worked. 

For those with similar problems, the solution is easy. 

Removing Duplicate Contacts on the iPhone
[1] Go to Settings > Mail Contacts Calendars 
[2] Select your Gmail account. 
[3] Go to Contacts and turn it Off. When it warns you of the contacts' deletions, accept the action. 
[4] Now go back and turn Contacts On. When it asks you what to do with the local contacts, choose the actions that will delete them. 

Now, your duplicates should be gone! And the world was right again. 

Thanks to ElectroDisco who posted on this Google Forum thread with the above answer. 
For those who are interested, Google's official documentation on the matter is here

Google's official documentation about contact syncing can be found here. 

iPhone: Making Your Own Ringtones

Have an iPhone? Like custom ringtones? Especially ones that are free? If you answered yes to all three, read on, my friends!

After reading some articles about ringtone making (see this article and this one from MacLife), I decided to try it out myself.

The procedure involves a few easy steps:
[1] Download the free app from the App Store. Click here to read about it on Apple's website.
[2] Have unprotected mp3s on your iPhone
[3] Follow the instructions provided for you in the App.
[4] Get the files onto your computer (I recommend sending it rather than sharing files via iTunes because it's easier, I think.) Watch the video to see how to do file shares.
[5] Add the files to your iTunes library, and then sync the Ringtones to your iPhone.

The App makers have a really excellent video with clear step-by-step screenshots. I highly recommend it. You can watch it here:

The longest and most tedious part of this whole procedure is the iPhone Sync process, but for the million ringtones I'm going to make, I don't mind!

I had Gmail screen the files for virus (I'm a little paranoid), and these files got the green light. I followed the video's guide, and now I have myself a nice little collection of ringtones.

If you're interested, there's a 99 cents version of this app, which allows for some customizable features such as speeding up or slowing down the mp3 (as mentioned in one of the MacLife articles). For most, that will probably not be necessary, and the free version is just fine.