Exploring Android – Part 4 – Contacts

One important point when wanting to circumvent the Google cloud is how to import contact and calendar information to Android and how to back up the content. For contacts there are quite a number of options. The simplest on without any additional programs required works as follows:

Import Contacts

  • On Symbian, mark all contacts and export. For each contact a single file is created
  • In the file manager mark all created files and send them via Bluetooth to the Android device
  • On Android, each contact can then be exported by clicking on it. This, however, is a bit cumbersome, especially if there are many contacts to import (like in my case)

To speed things up one interesting tip found here recommends to concatenate all contact files into a single large file and import that to Android:

1. Copy all your vcf files [exported from Symbian] into one directory
2. Open Windows command prompt.
3. Enter the following DOS command: copy *.vcf all.vcf
[4. Send via Bluetooth to the Android device and import all with one click]

Backing-Up Contacts

In the contacts application select "Menu – Import/Export – Send namecard via". Click on "select all" and then select Bluetooth to transfer all contacts in a single .vcf file. Works well and all contact data is available in readable form in the file. I then deleted the contact information on the Android device and used this single file to import the entries again to verify the process in the opposite direction and also step 4 from the tip above.

Other Import/Backup Options

A web search revealed quite a number of third party applications including one that synchronizes the Android contact data base with an address book in Thunderbird. An interesting solution but I haven't tried it myself yet. Also, a closer look at Funambol might be worthwhile as it synchronizes calendars with Thunderbird as well.