Let Google Back Up Your Phone Contacts
A couple weeks ago I logged into Facebook and it told me a friend will be attending an event called “New Phone Number”. It turns out a friend of a friend (I don’t even know this person) created an event on Facebook to have all their friends text them their name since they lost all the contacts in their phone.
Facebook privacy settings aside, I was surprised that people still lose all their phone contacts. Granted, many people still have “feature phones” which won’t back up as easily as a smartphone, but here we have an iPhone user who lost them.
If you’re not already one of the 425 million gmail accounts out there, you will need to create an account before being able to use Google Sync. This doesn’t mean you need to use the gmail account for anything else, it will just store the contacts in your gmail account.
If you ever switch to an Android phone in the future it will also make the process easier as Android phones automatically sync to a gmail account, so you’ll have your contacts ready and waiting for you.
Google’s Sync tool has been around for about 3 years, and allows you to sync your contacts (and with most phones – your mail and calendar) between your phone and gmail account. It’s free and available for iPhone, Windows, Nokia, and other phones such as the Sony Ericsson:
The link above has all the installation details for each operating system that it’s available for. Once you have it setup and running it will sync your contacts automatically and you never have to worry about it. If you lose your phone you only need to install Google Sync on the new one and it will download all your contacts.
Unfortunately Google retired Google Sync for Blackberry and it’s no longer available, but Blackberry has their own free Desktop Manager application for both Windows and Mac users:
Desktop Manager allows you to not only save your contacts and calendar, but you can backup everything on your Blackberry and save it to your computer.
You’re in luck – you’re already syncing to your gmail account. When you configured your phone you connected it to a gmail account so it’s automatically saving all the contacts for you.
Don’t let it be you who has to contact all their friends asking for contact details! With Google Sync it’s basically install-and-forget, as it just does the job for you. You can also manually back up iPhones with iTunes and options exist for other types of phones as well. Just check with your manufacturer’s website or your service provider to see what they recommend.