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greyspoke
Tux's lil' helper
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Joined: 08 Jan 2010
Posts: 148

PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2011 8:11 pm    Post subject: sync contacts with Android phone Reply with quote

OK I just moved out of my cave and got a smartphone, an HTC Desire.

I have sort of got the hang of it, using IMAP for my emails and so on so they work from desktop and phone. But one thing that caused some head-scratching was syncing my contacts - I don't use my gmail account much. What I have done is transfer all my contacts to gmail contscts, which the phone syncs with. And use Zimbra desktop as my desktop mail client, as that is able to sync with my gmail address book as well as get the messages via IMAP, so I can use the gmail address book to send emails from my other email accounts.

I haven't managed to find any other email client that will do this. I guess the way google would like me to do this is to funnel my other email accounts through gmail, but that seems a bit of a sledgehammer of a solution, and would make me completely internet connection dependent.

Any other ideas about syncing contacts between Linux desktop and Android phone?
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Fitzcarraldo
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Joined: 30 Aug 2008
Posts: 1873
Location: United Kingdom

PostPosted: Sat Oct 08, 2011 4:08 pm    Post subject: Try MyPhoneExplorer under WINE Reply with quote

I also have an HTC Desire, and wanted to sync the contacts between my phone and my laptop without having to resort to using Google's GMail (which would put all my contacts 'in the Cloud', something I don't want). I tried to find a FOSS and native Linux solution without success, and ended up running the Windows freeware application MyPhoneExplorer under WINE. You can find the full details of how to do it in my blog post: Editing from a Linux PC the phone book (contacts list) in an Android phone. MyPhoneExplorer under WINE works very well once you have got it set up. I can add/edit/delete contacts in MyPhoneExplorer on my laptop and it correctly updates my HTC Desire, and I can add/edit/delete contacts on my HTC Desire and it correctly updates MyPhoneExplorer on my laptop. I'm not sure how this could then be imported into, say, Thunderbird, but there are details for doing that in the MyPhoneExplorer forums, if you want to have a go.
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greyspoke
Tux's lil' helper
Tux's lil' helper


Joined: 08 Jan 2010
Posts: 148

PostPosted: Sun Oct 09, 2011 1:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Fitz, I will look into that, not used Wine yet so a good excuse to find out about it. I don't mind my contacts being in the cloud, but I see your point there. OTOH, I guess if you buy an Android phone you are buying into The Google Way to an extend like it or not...
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Princess Nell
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Joined: 15 Apr 2005
Posts: 827

PostPosted: Mon Oct 10, 2011 9:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If your mail application can export contacts in .vcf format, they can be easily imported into Android. Not an "everything just works automatically in the background" type sync, I'm afraid.

(I've not been able to do bulk imports, but I've only ever had a chance to play with one particular Android phone and it could be a limit of this particular flavour; contacts got added to the address book by viewing the vcf files, which is quite tedious if you want to import dozens or even hundreds. But hey, maybe there's an app for that ;-)
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myceliv
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Joined: 29 Nov 2007
Posts: 178

PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2011 4:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not sure how up to date these links are, or how useful, but have them in my todo list to work out similar syncing issues: I'm still deciding if I'm comfortable syncing via Wuala, but it's pretty quick to manually sync (usually using QuickSSHd app). I don't use Evolution or Kontact, but am considering using Kontact now that Gnome3 has driven me back to KDE. =)
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greyspoke
Tux's lil' helper
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Joined: 08 Jan 2010
Posts: 148

PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2011 10:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks people again, syncing via import/ exporting vcards would need to be put on a pretty automated basis for me to bother doing it I think. And I can't see any way of doing this other than importing/exporting the whole thing - my phone exports one big vcs vile with no date information on the entries that would enable you to just look for uptated entries. On the whole, gmail's address book is pretty handy for me. But it obviously has an api (otherwise Zimbra Desktop couldn't do what it does), interesting no other email client appears to make use of it, though most do provide IMAP access to the gmail emails. Maybe something to do with the the address part of gmail not being an open format/protocol? I guess a more open-source way of doing it would be to sync via open protocols and formats with somethng that lived in the cloud in a place of one's choosing (wuala etc as you indicate myceliv) rather than being tied to one provider.
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