Thursday, August 1, 2013

Import Google Contacts to empty Nokia Mobile


Thanks to iBualoy

I was talking about Import Contacts from Nokia E66 to Google Contacts two months ago, it was a happy solution with SyncML. In that case the master data is Nokia. So, I re-organized all contact information to fit with google contact, then I want to sync back to my Nokia. But the life is not that easy with the first sync from Google Contact to empty-contact Nokia phone.

10 Years ago the ActiveSync solution is superb and one of the few way to sync contact information, mostly with Outlook Express or Microsoft Office Outlook. When time changed, mobile using behaviour also changed. Single contact may have mutiple mobile numbers, which not supported by ActiveSync. Even until now Microsoft Office Outlook 2010 still use the same contact information structure and ActiveSync protocol.

What if... I do not use MS Outlook, I will have no chance to sync my contacts via multiple mobile device? That's sound unfair. What Nokia did in the past 3 years how they develop Nokia PC Suite to Nokia Ovi Suite, their contact information structure is superb, and most practical use. But the way how Nokia manage to Import/Export contact list is getting worse and worse, and they rely too much on ActiveSync.

Sync back problem of SyncML

If the master data is in Nokia, and we keep our contact backup in the Google Contact via SyncML, it should be OK and working fine. But once I sync back from Google Contact to another new Nokia mobile (empty contact). I have got the problem of contact name with multiple words in it. For example, I put prefix and suffix into my contact name, like "SKY Keerati SRV" means his name is "Keerati" in "Service" department of company "SKY", this information contains only single field in Google Contacts, but when I sync to Nokia phone by SyncML, it will regcognize as [FirstName] [MiddleName] [LastName]. The real problem is in the list view of contact page, it shows only FirstName and LastName. So, I have got a lot of contacts from company name and department, but not the person name!!! So, in this case I have to find another way to sync my contacts.

Update 2011 - after the SyncML failure incident

There was a period of time that Google SyncML was not working properly. But finally Google has fixed the problem. Leter on I decide to go back to SyncML because of it is most convenience. I just have to name all my contacts only in FirstName field.

The only problem is every time I use SyncML, it will sync only a small number of transactions. For example If you have a lot of contacts (in my case now is 900 contacts), and you want to sync your empty Nokia Phone (now I'm using Nokia C3) with SyncML, each time you sync, it will sync only about 5% of total contacts, so I have to press SyncML about 20 times, then I will get fully updated my contacts.

Another concern point is you have to edit the contacts ONLY in Google Contacts, and NEVER edit or add your contact in your Nokia Phone, because once the latest update has done on your phone, it will sync back the whole things from your phone to Google Contact, not only the partial change. My Google contacts was in a big mess from this mistake.

Nokia Software seems to go wrong direction

In my opinion, Nokia is the best phone ever for phone call function. Nokia Contact information structure is simple, and easy to use. Nokia PC Suite is a little bit buggy, but still able to use, able to import/export to files without sync with Outlook Express or MS Outlook. When it develop to Nokia Ovi Suite 2.x, it looks good, but very slow. Anyway, this was my solution to sync my contacts among my 2 Nokia phones and backup into the internet.

Nokia Ovi Suite - the worst contact Import/Export ever

There was official answer from Nokia staff on last April 2010, "Ovi Contact is not support import/export function" So, doesn't matter how good the concept of backup all contacts into internet is. If we cannot import/export, who gonna migrate to use Ovi Contact? I think Nokia invested a lot on Ovi concept, and may features such as mail, map, photo, etc. But, who gonna use ovi email? I have no idea at all. They should concentrate on something that Nokia users really need to use it.

Since Nokia Ovi Suite 2.x was only my solution to sync contacts on my 2 Nokia phones, I have no other choice. I very slow, and not responding many times. It take some time to manage to sync it successfully. Lately before I wrote this blog, I just found out that Nokia Ovi Suite 3.0 has released already. I tried it, better interface, much faster response... but still without import/export function. T.T

Nokia PC Suite - Back to Basic

I decided to go back to Nokia PC Suite, the latest version that available officially is version 7.1, which not support contact with multiple mobile number from the beginning!!! I have to go backward further, the latest version that support multiple mobile number per contact as a vCard file (.vcf) is version 6.86

You can download Nokia PC Suite 6.86 from official Nokia site here:

Unfortunately, it quite an old software, crashed many times when runs on Windows 7, but it still can run, what you need is luck. Anyway, with this direction, no matter how good of Nokia phone is, I will not go back to Nokia phone if it cannot manage to import/export contacts properly.

Export Contact From Google Contact

Now you can export contact from Google Contact as vCard file (More Actions > Export... > vCard format). You will get a single file with multiple contacts. But Nokia PC Suite 6.86 didn't support multiple-contact vCard, then I have to split them into multiple files of single-contact vCards. So, I use VCard Splitter to split them into subfolders and import back to my empty-contact Nokia phone. Mission Accomplished.

VCard Splitter - Survival tool
Split your single multiple-contacts vCard to multiple single-contact vCards

When importing and exporting contact data, sometimes you will come across a single VCard (.vcf) that contains multiple contacts. Outlook has no native way to read this file.

This simple Windows Forms application splits a single file into one VCard for each contact, allowing you to drag-and-drop the resulting files into Outlook or Exchange.

VCard Splitter



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