Monthly Archives: June 2011

Sync Contacts From iPhone to Gmail

I see an incredible number of facebook posts along the lines of “omg lost phone last night pls text me ur number” or “iPhone died! Lost all numbers!” or so on. Anyone who is active on facebook knows exactly what I’m talking about. What I’m curious about is why so many people seem to set up their contacts totally wrong. Who in their right mind would store their contacts on their phone which is easy to lose, easy to break and usually not backed up? I know I wouldn’t. I’m going to show you a simple way to fix this problem on iPhones: using Gmail to sync your contacts. As a disclaimer, I know that you can sync your contacts other ways. But I find the Gmail method to be the simplest, most portable and easiest to set up if you already have a gmail account (who doesn’t?).

The first thing you need to do is set up your gmail account as an Exchange account. I don’t know if the contact syncing method works as a Gmail set up. The Exchange method is superior anyway. Also, if you have an exchange account, you can skip down to where I say “First, click on the Contacts icon” a few paragraphs below.

To set up your gmail as an Exchange account, go to “Settings” then “Mail, Contacts, Calendars” click on your gmail account and then click “Delete Account” at the bottom. Don’t worry, you won’t lose your emails. Then go back to the “Mail, Contacts, Calendars” and click “Add Account”. Then select exchange and put info in this format — note that this is what it looks like after it’s set up:

You won’t see a “Server” box until you fill out the first screen. Leave the “Domain” blank and make sure you put in your full email address. The description can be whatever you want but it’s probably best to call it “Gmail”. When you do enter your info and the “Server” box pops up, put in like I have in the screenshot above. Now you need to make sure that at least your Mail and Contacts are set up to sync. You don’t have to do Calendar but I suggest it as well. Here’s a screenshot:

Okay, now you’re set up to do this whole thing properly. Moving on…

First, click on the Contacts icon. In case you’re confused about what I’m talking about, I’m referring to this one:

Once you click on that, you should see something like this pop up. The difference is that it might not say just “Contacts” at the top. If you’re seeing “All Contacts” that might be a problem. We’ll fix that now. Granted, you might not know as many famous people as I do (obv brag) but you should see a list of people in 99% of cases.

At this point you should click on the “Groups” button in the upper left. You’ll see something like this, minus the red/green stuff:

Here’s where you need to do some exploring. Click on the “All from My Mac” option (this may say something different if you have a PC, I’m not sure). If you see anything listed, you’re doing it wrong. It should look like this:

Why? Basically anything here is being synced through your mac. It’s not being sync’ed through Gmail. Syncing through your mac technically works but it’s not as nice as being able to edit your iPhone contacts directly through the Gmail web interface. Now get to work deleting all of your contacts listed in “All from My Mac” and putting them into your Gmail account. The nice thing is that you can do the data entry via the “Contacts” screen in Gmail. Just make sure that you put the contacts into the “My Contacts” group if they don’t exist already. There are fancier/quicker ways to do this but for the purposes of this tutorial, just find a way to get the contacts out of “All from My Mac” and into your gmail “My Contacts” group. Make sure your “All from My Mac” screen is empty like the screenshot above.

Now go back to the “Groups” screen and select “Contacts” under the “Gmail” header (ie, the one with the big green checkmark). You should see all of your “My Contacts” group from your gmail contacts listed there. When you make changes, they will sync to your gmail account. When you make changes to a contact on the gmail web interface, they will sync on your iPhone. Whenever you’re in your contacts screen on your iPhone, just make sure you’re looking at the right list. If you’re not sure, go back to Groups and then select Contacts under Gmail to make sure. Only initiate new contacts via the + button on the correct list — otherwise they will save to your iPhone only and they won’t sync to gmail.

And most importantly, if you lose your phone, it’s just a matter of setting up your gmail account as an Exchange account again and all of your mail, contacts and so on will show up on your phone shortly. No need to broadcast your noob status on facebook ever again.

If you didn’t understand this tutorial, you can also read the official Google tutorial to do the same thing. They also have tutorials for other devices.

29th Birthday

I’ve posted the last few years about my birthday. Here’s my entry from when I turned 27 and my entry from when I turned 28. For some reason I didn’t post in 2006 when I turned 24, 2007 when I turned 25 or 2008 when I turned 26. I still think it’s pretty cool that I started this blog when I was 23 and now I’m 29 and still going without any significant break at any point. I know I’ve gone through slower periods but I don’t think I’ve ever gone longer than about three weeks without a post. Hopefully I can keep that up!

One thing I said in last year’s entry is that I planned on being in ridiculously good shape by this point. I didn’t achieve that. The good news is that I am definitely in better shape now than last year at this time. The bad news is that I wouldn’t describe me as being in ridiculously good shape. Oh well. I am injury-free right now which wasn’t the case for all of the last year. I’m definitely hoping to step up the fitness and strength levels this coming year. I can make decent progress over the next month or so but after that I’ll be moving in the month of August and I suspect I’ll slide backwards. It is amazingly hard to maintain strength levels when you don’t lift. I find that I both acquire and lose strength at really high rates. So I hope to really get going on the strength stuff in September when I’m done moving and settled into my apartment in Philadelphia.

One other thing I’m going to be doing is volunteering at the CrossFit Games in Carson, CA in late July. The CrossFit Games are the annual worldwide CrossFit championships. They claim to crown the “fittest man and woman on earth” each year and they may very well be right. I signed up to volunteer for the whole week (including setup) so I’m sure it’s going to be a lot of work. But I think it’ll be a great experience. Since I’m moving east just after the games it’s going to be less likely that I’ll come out west just for the games next year so I figure I’d better get in the volunteer experience before it’s too late. Given that there is a $1m prizepool and a bunch of sponsorships up for grabs, I think the competition is going to be awesome. There are so many incredibly fit people out there but at the CFG something has got to give.

I will end this blog entry with some pictures of the birthday gifts I received this year. My girlfriend got me this screenprinted poster of the neighborhoods in Philly:

I picked up a frame for it and I can’t wait to hang it up in my new apartment. She also had these cookies shipped in:

She is also giving me various other things. Two more from what I’m told. I’ll have pictures from one of the other presents on Tuesday and the fourth one I am told I will get in a few weeks/months. I’m a lucky guy!

Also, since yellowsub86 and his girlfriend are staying with me for the WSOP, I woke up to the following outside of my room yesterday (they were flying out of town for the weekend to attend a wedding):

I guess everyone knows that I’m kind of a sucker for sweets. Sigh. The card is awesome though. When you open it, it starts playing the chicken dance.

Thanks to everyone who wished me happy birthday! Time to close out my 20s.

PND and PT auctions end


That’s a screenshot from eBay of the two auctions. For obvious reasons I blurred out the account names of the winners. It will be up to them if they want to reveal themselves at some point.

I’m happy with the PND sales price. We had a pre-auction offer for a little bit more but I think we all preferred to let it go to auction and see what happened. At least this way we can go to sleep at night knowing that we put it out in the market and let the market decide what to pay.

The PT sales price is a little lower than I think it’s really worth but I guess it’s only worth what people will pay for it. I was tempted to bid for it myself and buy it personally but in the end I decided against it.

The reason I didn’t bid on PT is because I really just kind of want to take some time off from the whole poker affiliate thing. I may be getting back involved in a poker project (in early discussions now) but it won’t be an affiliate project. I’m also reworking an affiliate site of ours but I won’t be doing that much related to poker affiliating after the next few months (unless something changes).

Good luck to the new owners of PND and PT!