An unofficial blog that watches Google's attempts to move your operating system online since 2005. Not affiliated with Google.

Send your tips to gostips@gmail.com.

November 19, 2008

Google Contacts Sync for BlackBerry

As more of its services are used in business environments, Google started to provide synchronization tools for mail, calendar and contacts, but their launch wasn't timely and they were pretty limited. For example, the Google Calendar/Outlook sync tool is limited to the main calendar, while the BlackBerry sync application doesn't upload preexisting events to Google Calendar.

You can find third-party tools that offer a better experience, but synchronization should be a built-in feature of Gmail and Google Calendar. Creating APIs is a good way to make sure that developers can create applications for more obscure platforms or less common needs, it's not an excuse for being lazy.

The good news is that Google's applications are constantly improving. The sync tool for BlackBerry added support for contacts synchronization. "This new functionality will enable you to sync your handheld's built-in address book with your Gmail contacts. This all happens in the background and over the air, so your information is always up to date, no matter where you are or what you're doing," explains Google Mobile blog. To install the application, visit m.google.com/sync from a BlackBerry.

If there's one thing that T-Mobile G1, the first Android-powered phone, did it right is the seamless synchronization with Google's services: contacts are automatically synced with Gmail, while the events are synchronized with Google Calendar.

30 comments:

  1. Does this mean that contacts sync will come to Outlook soon as well?

    ReplyDelete
  2. There's an API for Google Contacts and iCal4OL is one of the few apps that sync Google Contacts with Outlook. I don't see any reason why Google wouldn't add this feature to the Outlook tool.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Another app that has recently added support for Google Contacts sync is OggSync (Outlook and Windows Mobile).

    ReplyDelete
  4. I'm really hoping sync for the iPhone isn't too far off, since Nuevasync and Soocial are both offering sync services for Google Contacts already.

    ReplyDelete
  5. iphone can already sync via Mac Address Book (just turn it on in the preferences). Be careful though. You should definitely back up your Gmail addresses first. When I did it, it systematically removed the email address of everyone I actually contacted on a semi regular basis. I now have to manually check over 2000 email addresses.

    The problem seems to be with putting people into categories on Address book, and putting people into "favorites" on the iphone. Avoid those, and it seems to be fine.

    ReplyDelete
  6. As a Blackberry user, this is absolutely fantastic. The contact synchronisation is the last piece of the jigsaw to make my mobile setup near perfect. Thanks Google.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Can anyone post the direct link to the app?

    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Direct link for BlackBerry 8700 [BlackBerry OS 4.1]:
    http://m.google.com/sync/apps/0.5.9/en/BlackBerry-41/GoogleSync.jad

    Direct link for BlackBerry 8800, Curve [BlackBerry OS 4.2]:
    http://m.google.com/sync/apps/0.5.9/en/BlackBerry-42/GoogleSync.jad

    Direct link for BlackBerry Pearl [BlackBerry OS 4.3]:
    http://m.google.com/sync/apps/0.5.9/en/BlackBerry-43/GoogleSync.jad

    ReplyDelete
  9. Alex, ¿any direct link for Curve 8300 OS 4.5?

    Thanks

    ReplyDelete
  10. This is one of the best things Google has ever done. Thanks!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Bugs have been reported with this including the creation of multiple entries (every time you sync (!)). Might want to wait for the bugs to be worked out. Be sure to check out http://groups.google.com/group/google-mobile-help-blackberry/topics?pli=1 and http://www.google.com/support/mobile/bin/topic.py?topic=13585 first.

    ReplyDelete
  12. i wish i had not updated to the new sync that works with contacts... it seems that if you've got an email address only (no name, no phone number, no nothin'...)in your gmail contact for a person, but you've got an email and more in the Blackberry contact for the same person, you lose all info but the email address...

    really frustrating!

    i've got (well, i _had_) full contact contact information for old high school friends in my Blackberry (parents' addresses, kids names, etc) and then just an email for them in gmail. now i've only got their email addresses in both...

    i'm using a blackberry pearl. any suggestions?

    ReplyDelete
  13. Yes, I have to also say I haven't be overly impressed - I'd been waiting for a good contact sync facility for my BB Curve 8310 (not being/wanting to be a BES user) & the syncml/syncje route was not pleasant. This being the case I was waiting eagerly for the upgrade to Google Sync which does such a grand job with the calendar.

    Unfortunately on my first sync I can see contacts that were in Gmail seem to have trampled on contacts in BB to an extent that mobile phone numbers have been lost.

    I would sadly assume then that this has not been tested properly - I know full well that syncing is a nightmare technically but this could have and should have been done better.

    Losing data aint cool

    Joel

    ReplyDelete
  14. I also have had some problems. Syncing from my Curve to Google went fine, but when the contact syncs back to my Curve, the address fields are not mapped properly. I have also tried syncing with GooSync and had the same issues.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I've started a new thread on the Google Mobile Help Discussions for Blackberry devices regarding my particular Sync issues (stripping info from the BB contacts and replacing with Gmail contact info). If you are having similar issues, please respond to that thread to draw Google Mobile's attention to it. I looked around the discussions there and didn't see anyone else with this problem (or, at least, a problem described this way), so they may not have been alerted to it yet.

    here's the link to my post there:

    http://www.google.com/support/forum/p/Google+Mobile/thread?tid=7780311b134e3ca2&hl=en

    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  16. It's been a nightmare ever since I installed the updated sync. Screwed up not only my google contacts but my BB contacts as well. I have contacts with the same address a 5, 10, 15 times over, deletes numbers and gives me tons of duplicates in my BB. I delete a contact in my BB, it comes back, I try to delete the contact in gmail--it comes back. Lastly, and the most annoying is that I've been getting "Uncaught exception: java.lang.NullPointerException" error message contstantly--even a battery pull doesn't fix it. What gives?

    ReplyDelete
  17. Google really needs to fix this -- there are all kinds of issues with this application.. I love Google Calendar and the ability to sync contacts is awesome -- I would immediately jump over to the "G"-side but I need reliability.

    ReplyDelete
  18. To disconnect from sync without losing your contacts, back up your contacts first. Then log out of google sync and let the application delete all of your synced contacts. After you log out, use your back up file to restore the contacts on your blackberry.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Can somebody send me a directlink of googlesync for my blackberry storm. I have no OTA-suppoerting browser on my storm
    Thanks !

    ReplyDelete
  20. Sync issues still not addressed - use at your own risk. Look forward to getting multiple incomplete copies of many of your contacts. When it finally locks up your device with the "Google Sync is disabled while Blackberry updates settings" message, pull the battery from your device for 1-2 minutes, then restart.

    ReplyDelete
  21. google sync with blackberry does not work well at all, the duplicate contacts issue is a huge problem, when you start w/ 2000 contacts and then go to 2300 with 3 days (all duplicates) u have a problem. I don't have time to sit there and manually inspect which contacts are correct and I can't afford to lose my contact data...

    ReplyDelete
  22. Very poor support I must say. Persisting issues and only very limited fields are supported.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Google dropped the ball on this one and I advise you DO NOT USE THIS SERVICE. The problem is Google has developed a very good reputation based on what they label "beta services", but some beta services are excellent and some are not to be trusted with your valuable data. The Calendar sync actually works quite well . . .

    ReplyDelete
  24. It would be great if there was a way to leave Google Contacts as the master, and then make the sync a ONE-WAY process so that all contacts on the Blackberry (Bold) would be completely overlaid with Google's contacts. Seems "duh simple", doesn't it? Eliminates the sync issue of updates, and instead acts like a restore operation. Simple.

    ReplyDelete
  25. My Google Contacts on the BBerry 8330 works intermittently; it'll sync automatically and work fine for a while, but then it'll stop working and keep posting up error messages. I'll log out, log back in, and it'll work fine for a while....etc. Just wish it was more reliable. It also doesn't seem to recognize that when I delete a contact from my BBerry, I also want it deleted from my Google Contacts; I'll frequently have multiple contacts or recurring contacts I've deleted until I go in online and delete them manually from Google Contacts. I'm about 75% happy with it thus far.

    ReplyDelete
  26. I have 40 of the same contacts for each person in my brand new blackberry how do i fix this problem?

    ReplyDelete
  27. And i cannot delete the contacts what should i do?

    ReplyDelete
  28. great, I use google sync 0.7.3 for my 8700 backup my contact and input to my new motorola defy (mb525). thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  29. DO NOT USE GOOGLE SYNC WITH BLACKBERRY 9650. Started with 300 contacts, now I have 8300., THAT's EIGHT THOUSAND THREE HUNDRED, MOSTLY DUPLICATED DOZENS OF TIMES, GOOGLE FLOPPED AND I'M SUNK!!!!!!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  30. Why hasn't Google fixed this yet? I see that Blackberry contact categories and Google groups will not sync wireless, yet, they seem to sync just fine to Outlook. If Outlook can sync categories to BB, and Outlook can sync categories to Google, why can't Google sync categories to BB?

    ReplyDelete