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Re: ...Contacts input directly to my Galaxy S3 do not Sync with Gmail
Syncing Samsung Galaxy S3 Contacts with Google Contacts and Vice-versa
Having spent a considerable amount of time (I estimate about 40 hrs) trying to crack the problem of my Samsung S3 syncing with my Google contacts and vice versa, this is the advice I have to offer before you are tempted to throw either your new phone or your computer into the bin:
(1) Your contacts list is a ‘database’ of information. You will have to decide what information you need in there. I have about 300 contacts which I reduced down from about 700. For me, I broke the contacts into three categories as follows (ie. the reasons why I wanted a contacts list):
a. Basic telephone numbers for my sports group and some basic notes on players (I coach rugby);
b. Telephone numbers and more importantly addresses for my Christmas cards list (this is mainly for my wife); and
c. General social telephone numbers (and sometimes addresses).
Email addresses for all the above three categories were also included in every case.
This database of information then gives me the ability to telephone someone, message someone and email someone through my Samsung S3 or simply email them through my computer. This is a great capability.
(2) You have to then format this contacts list and this formatting has to be consistent throughout. For example, when entering the address, I enter it as I would address an envelope. When entering telephone numbers, I enter the number without the country code (regular international travellers may have to consider entering country code prefixes) and ensure there are no gaps in the number. Do you group husband and wife or do you enter them separately? Do you enter surname first, then first name or just not worry about it – remember both Google Contacts and Samsung Contacts have a great search function?
(3) What I did next (after having lost my contacts several times on my phone; having double entries on my phone etc – my frustration was at its maximum level) I set up my contacts through my computer’s Gmail first. This was much easier and quicker, for me at least. Having established my formatting rules (as per para 2), I plugged away once again and closed my eyes and hoped for the best. Google then after a couple of hours or less downloaded the same contacts into my phone including contact photos. All fields in Google (as far as I could see) matched those in my phone. Now, this downloading occurred automatically (I knew this would happen) and I am not aware how to actually prevent it – I have all my syncs turned off on my phone. To be sorted later, methinks. What I did notice is that whilst my Google telephone numbers had no gaps, in my phone contacts brackets automatically occur around Australian STD prefixes and gaps are inserted.
(4) I then experimented by inputting data into my contacts lists from my phone. Voila, a couple of hrs later or less, this same data had uploaded into my Google contacts. This included new contacts and changes to the existing contacts information. Again, I am not sure how this occurred as I believed I had turned off all syncing – I still need to understand and solve this! What I had also previously noted was that it is critical that the formatting and set-up is consistent otherwise duplication of contacts occurs. I now intend to input any changes or additional contacts through my phone as it is more efficient for me to do so.
In sum, I now have a strong, efficient database of contacts that meets all my requirements. If I change phones, I do not have to rewrite all my contacts as they are set-up in Google. Changes are automatically uploaded or downloaded. I have a two-way exchange of data between my phone and Google. As long as Google exists, I will always have my contacts ‘database’. From time to time, I will export my contacts from Google into my computer as a back-up.
PS. I previously tried copying my contacts into my phone’s SD card (I needed duplicates in case of losing them again). This was a waste of time as half of each name was missing and only one phone number for each contact came across – many contacts have multiple phone numbers.