This is "my" mashed&smashed up personal blog where I try to post useful stuff for people that are into sports, people that want technology to for for them and not vice versa, people looking for solutions to mobile phone problems especially Nokia and Android related, people that are interested in SEO in making money online and more...

How To Merge, Manage And Backup Your Contacts On Android Mobile Phone Like Samsung Galaxy S

This is what happened. I bought a new smart phone. Samsung Galaxy S. Evil little phone, love it, my first smartphone, my first Android phone. So I asked the guy in the store to transfer my contacts from my old Nokia to Galaxy S. He did, thanks. Then I went home and added my gmail account (actually accounts, 3 of them, but I only synchronized the contacts on one of them) and synchronized the contacts from gmail to my new phone. Then I added my Facebook account and again synchronized my contacts from there. And then...?

Then I looked at my contacts and the thing was a bloody mess. I had almost 1000 contacts, people were doubled, tripled, quadrupled and more. The same person was in my old phone transfered to my new phone, on my SIM card, in my gmail account with possible 3 different emails that he changed over time (or home/work emails) and with his facebook account. Crap. I'm not sure why but almost every person was also doubled so that once appeard as John Doe and once as Doe John. A bloody mess I tell you.

So How To Merge, Manage And Store Your Contacts On Android Mobile Phone Like Samsung Galaxy S?

There is an option to connect contacts right through your phone. But these contacts are then only connected not merged. What's the point of having three connected contacts for the same person, one with home phone, one with work prone, one with first and last name switched etc... when it all could be merged into one contact.

What I did is the following:

Android is all about Google. So I decided that I will manage all my contacts with my gmail account. Account then synchronizes with the phone and your up to date contact list is ready for your use.

1. The first step is to export all the contacts that you have on your phone to your SD card and turn off the gmail account synchronization. There is a setting for both these things in your phone book.

When you have all the contacts exported (as .vcf file) you could open it with KIES (if you are using Samsung software) or actually with any vCard editor and edit your contacts on your PC. Which is light-years faster than editing them on your phone.

But this does not solve the storage/backup part of this problem. So I decided to use gmail account...as said. When you have all your contacts sorted in your gmail acc. you can synchronize them to any android phone you want. Loose a phone, buy a new phone? No problem...

2. So the next step was: open gmail contacts and import all your contacts via .vcf file that you exported. So now you have transfered the mess from your phone to you gmail (actually it is not necessary to have gmail, you can only use the contacts part of it).

3. Clean up!
When you open your contacts there is an option to find duplicates and merge them. So this is the first thing I did.

4. Then there is some legwork to be done. You can either use gmail contacts to go through all your contacts and merge the ones that google missed and fix all the mistakes, tag phone numbers and emails as home/work/other etc... make sure that the first name always comes first and last name last (or you will have trouble sorting them on your phone), add adresses if you want, birthdays, notes... Or you can export your contacts from gmail account as CSV file and open them in excel (save an unchanged backup, just in case!!!). Excel will make your job easier if you and excel are homies :). A few hints: sort by name, sort by last name, sort by number, sort by "included: part of the name" etc... and fix/merge. Either way - it is much easier to edit your contacts on your PC than on your phone.

5. If you have used Excel then first delete all the contacts from your gmail acc. and the import the fixed ones from your cvs file back into the gmail account.

6. Once you have your contacts all neat and sorted out in your gmail account you need to clean up your phone. The best thing to do is to go to Android App Market and search for "delete contacts". Right now there is no way to delete all your contacts through phone setting. You can only delete one by one which would like take me till I'm 50 . Instead install an application that says it can delete ALL OF YOUR CONTACTS (some can only delete certain types of contacts). DELETE THEM!

7. When your phone book is empty log out of your gmail (I'm not sure this is necessary but what the heck...) and turn the account synchronization on your Android phone back on. Make sure you have contact synchronization checked for the gmail account where your contacts are sitting all neat, merged, and ready to be sent to your phone.

8. When the sync is over all your phone contacts will be marked as "g" and will be automaticaly synced between your phone and gmail everytime you edit/add them either on your phone or in your gmail acc.

9. A useful tip - in phonebook settings choose to only show contacts with phone numbers so you won't have all your email only contacts clogging your contact list.

10. And finally - it cant be all good. There are a few problems with having all your contacts synced with gmail:
- you can not (why not?!? I hope this will be fixed soon) sync groups. And you can't add "g" contacts to groups on your phone. This means that no matter what you do in your gmail contacts all your "g" contacts on the phone will be in Google group and you will not be able to assign them to any other group.
- I did not try this but - I heard that you can not assign specific ringtones to specific contacts if your contacts are set like these.

I haven't used any of the mentioned options much so I can live without them. But still.. WTF :)?!

11. That's it, this is how I merged my android phone contacts. Let me know if you found this useful or if you have any other tips for this.