sync blackberry contacts with gmail

Update (February 10, 2009): See Sync Google Calendar and Gmail Contacts with Your BlackBerry for a recent How To guide to the Google Sync for the BlackBerry solution.

Update (November 18, 2008): Google has provided a solution! (Thanks to Matt S. for pointing this out.)

Update (March 6, 2008): We may have a solution!

I’ve noticed a few search-engine terms with variations of the string “sync blackberry contacts with gmail”. Since this is clearly of interest to some, I thought I’d share the good news, and the, well, less-good news.

First the good news: Your GMail contacts are automagically available to you when you are composing a message. In other words, there’s no need to do any syncing. It looks like the J2ME-based GMail client for the Blackberry downloads contacts on demand, and also does some nifty caching.

Now the less-good news: If you were hoping that your GMail contacts were going to magically appear in the “Address Book” application on your Blackberry, well, you will be disappointed.

There may be some indirect way of keeping your Blackberry Address Book in sync with your GMail contacts.

For example, you may be able to sync the desktop software that manages your contacts (e.g., Apple’s Address Book, Lotus Notes, Microsoft Outlook, etc.) with GMail contacts. I haven’t spent much effort looking into this, but Intellisync has offered services along these lines, and there’s at least one solution for syncing GMail contacts with Apple’s Address Book

25 thoughts on “sync blackberry contacts with gmail

  1. I get a lot of hits on this post. Unfortunately, I haven’t had time to investigate further. Sorry. If you have, please feel free to add a comment – even if it’s to shamelessly plug your own solution!

  2. An API for contacts sync would be helpful indeed, Andy!
    I haven’t looked at GMail APIs in any detail for a while. There may be something there that could be of use …
    It may be worth posting this question in a Google Group – e.g.,
    Gmail Help Discussion

  3. yes, situation is pathetic indeed. i use gmail and keep my contacts there. an attempt to sync gmail contacts with blackberry was not successful – backward export to outlook and then import to blackberry via usb resulted in incomplete transfer. some contacts/fields were lost. is it so bloody difficult to create an over the air sync app?

    “API for contacts sync would be helpful indeed” – i am guessing google decided that ability to export contacts to outlook should be enough for everyone and rested.

  4. Has anyone had any luck with the BlackBerry and Google Contacts sync?
    Even the GCALSync is causing me issues with the calendar sync.

    I’ve been searching and searching, hopefully you have some rewarding news…

  5. You don’t need to sync your gmail contacts with your blackberry. They are “already there”, in Gmail. Confused are ya? Use your Blackberry like your computer. Click on the Internet Browser on your blackberry, click “Links”, click “Go To…” then type in “”, and it will take you to Gmail and ask for your username and password. Type that in and check the “remember me” box and it will take you to your Gmail. Scroll down past the “More Actions” and you will see “Contacts”. Click that, then click Get Links and your “Frequently Mailed” will show up. If the person you want contact info for is not listed, go to the open box after the last name listed and type in the person’s name, just a last name will work fine, even just a few letters of their name works. Then the “Results” will appear. Select the correct person from the searched contacts list, then click on it, click Get Link, and all of the information you entered into Gmail Contacts will show up. This is not a bi-directional sync, but if you put all your contact information into Gmail Contacts, then you have access to it anywhere your blackberry browser can get to the internet.

    • that is the longest set of directions using contact info in the history of technology. The idea is making it simpler here, of course we can get on the internet with our phones and spend 5 minutes in the process of making that phone call, but we’re supposed to be able to do it with a button and a flick of the thumb… right?

  6. i came across a google calendar to BB sync called calendarshare. I downloaded OTA have been using it for 3 days of the 7day free trial period. I have the 7250. So far, I’ve only noticed a few items that didn’t sync properly but it may be due to the sync program using the desc field in the appt rec to store sync info and I had filled in the field with other info before the sync. knowing this now I avoid putting anything in the desc field and every thing seems to sync properly. I can even see shared calendars (they are prefixed by the owner’s name in the subject field of the appt rec).

  7. I feel should warn people that you should keep your data usage plan in mind when using this OTA sync. As well the config of the program for num days to sync and frequency of sync. I have already learned a very expensive lesson and wanted to put the warning out to others. Great program. Cheap Application cost. Might cost a lot to keep it going because of the wireless data usage. I’ve stopped using the sync to look for more cost effective alternative.

  8. Stumbled across this post while looking for a way to sync Windows Mobile 6 Contacts with Lotus Notes ( without paying for Easy Sync Pro or any of the other commercial products ). I was about ready to whip out the ye ol’ credit card to pick one up when i stumbled across this site

    Uses Syncml clients to sync calendar, contacts, tasks, notes etc. To my dismay there wasnt a direct Notes syncml client and no way was I about to go the Big Boss and request a domino plugin to be installed. After bashing my head against the wall a few times, i realized that there was a bbery syncml client, so I used that to sync the contacts up to scheduleworld and used the wm6 plugin to pull the data from the server.

    Bell Mobility’s recent unlimited data plan $7 a month seriously makes a difference when it comes to data use and OTA syncs.

    They also seem to have a beta gmail contact sync ( i haven’t had a chance to get that to work )and might be useful in your quest.



  9. I have been using the gCal synch application on the Google Mobile site. This is provided by Google, and it works like a charm. I have this setup to synch both ways, with the server winning conflicts. I have had a few glitches, but for the most part, this works like a charm.

  10. Pingback: sync blackberry contacts with gmail: Problem Solved! « Ian Lumb’s Blog

  11. Funny how on Windows Mobile with Hotmail, contacts sync works instantly and perfectly but there’s absolutely no way to sync your hotmail calendar… Google on the BlackBerry have it the other way around! I wonder who’ll be first to do both…

  12. I just ran into this thread while searching for a way to sync my Samsung i730 with a loaner Blackberry 8830 I’ve got for two weeks. When I go to ScheduleWorld and try and sign up it tells me I’ve used that email address already so I must have signed up before.

    However, when I check for a log-in screen on their website I can’t find one at all. Do they have a portal, or is their website primarily wiki-based?


  13. Sync your bb with outlook.Use google mail updater to sync your contacts to gmail.Use contacts on gmail client as addressbook

  14. I loved using the gmail application designed for blackberry but now I’ve ‘upgraded’ to google apps I can no longer use it! I’m using the HTML version of the mail server on my blackberry but it’s slow, frustrating and only feels useable if you’ve never used the actual application that google encourages you to download if you are a gmail user. Is there any way to use it for a google apps account? Surely the technology can’t be that hard. Why are google punishing loyal users?

  15. Upgrade to version 2.0.5 of the GMail client for the BlackBerry, red. (Point your ‘Berry’s Web browser at and scroll for the GMail download.) There’s a new menu item called “Accounts”. Select this and then “Add account…” I have my standard GMail account AND my Google Apps Mail accounts open simultaneously – it’s all good 🙂

  16. Pingback: 2010 in review « Ian Lumb’s Blog

  17. Sweet blog! I found it while browsing on Yahoo News.

    Do you have any suggestions on how to get listed in Yahoo News?
    I’ve been trying for a while but I never seem to get there! Thank you

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    Galaxy S line phones, the Epic 4G has a 1GHz ‘Hummingbird’ processor, a Super AMOLED Screen, 5 MP camera capable of shooting 720p video and 512 MB RAM.

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