sync blackberry contacts with gmail: Problem Solved!

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.

In just over fourteen months, one of my posts has received almost 19% of the views for my entire blog.

There is no other post that even comes close.
And to make matters more interesting, the post was written in response to my blog’s search stats. People consistently entered strings along the lines “sync blackberry contacts with gmail” and arrived here.
Frankly, all of this attention made me uneasy.
Because I really didn’t have much to offer on the topic.
But please don’t think that I didn’t give this information (not data!) some thought.
Honestly, dear reader, I confess I even pondered how I might arrive at a solution that might monetize this 19% for personal gain. Let’s face it, 19% of more than 60K hits translates potentially to more than 11K customers. Ka-ching! I am in disgrace.
Luckily I didn’t waste my time.
Waste, you gasp. Yes, waste.
You see, the fine folks at Google have delivered a solution.
It’s all in the GMail contact manager. This new addition to the GMail client for the BlackBerry solves the problem.
If you have a contact for which you’ve entered phone numbers, these numbers appear when you click on the contact name to view their details. But that’s just the beginning. The phone numbers appear as clickable links. When you click on one of them, you automagically invoke the BlackBerry’s phone capability. (You may have forgotten that your BlackBerry actually allows you to call people as well.) Note that the first time you do this, you’ll need to approve some new settings.
Of course, you can email contacts as well.
Problem solved.
Please read my other posts!
If truth be told, this should be regarded as a great beginning.
Here’s why:
  • Read-only access – You can’t enter contact information from the GMail client on the BlackBerry. In time, we’ll want this. Like tomorrow!
  • Online-access only – You need your contacts when you’re off line? Like when you’re on an airplane? Until this client includes Google Gears functionality or equivalent, you’re out of luck here. I think I can live with that. For now. Because ultimately I would appreciate the ability to compose email when I’m off line. I do that frequently with the BlackBerry’s built-in mail client.
  • Contacts in too many places – Fragmenting contacts between your Google ‘verse and enterprise messaging platform (e.g., Microsoft Exchange, IBM Lotus Notes, etc.) has some disadvantages. However, as I’ve learned directly on the heels of personal experience, there are times when it’s wise to have some separation between our personal and corporate selves …

This gives me a lot of what I was looking for.

How about you?

40 thoughts on “sync blackberry contacts with gmail: Problem Solved!

  1. Pingback: sync blackberry contacts with gmail « Ian Lumb’s Blog

  2. We are a non-profit and use Google Apps email and Blackberry( not public Gmail). The contact sync to BB address book issue is still a big one for us. We need to be able to capture a phone number on the BB, create an entry in the BB address book, then sync to Google contacts.


  3. Hi-the gmail client works for me except for the following: “The phone numbers appear as clickable links. When you click on one of them, you automagically invoke the BlackBerry’s phone capability.” Note that the first time you do this, you’ll need to approve some new settings.” i get the links, but the phone does not dial. perhaps I did not see these new settings? Any ideas? thx.

  4. What are you on about?

    I have contacts in my BB. I also have the gmail application, which has its own contacts, and yes those within gmail work perfectly within gmail.

    I want to import my BB contacts into my gmail contacts. Simple question. What’s the answer? Two blog posts from you that are hogging google results have NOTHING to offer.

  5. What version of the gmail mobile app are you using? I’m using version on the bb 8700 and I do see a contacts manager. From there I can click on an email address for a contact to compose a new message and view recent conversations. However, I cannot or do not have the ability to click on a contact’s phone number… any advice would be appreciated.

  6. I agree, Two blog posts from you that are hogging google results have NOTHING to offer.

    I am not able to sync my google contacts with BB contacts.

  7. gmail contacts seem to be the problem. sync or copy over from outlook files works partially. While Yahoo takes all the information and harmonizes the fields, gmail refuses several entries and trunk much of the information. It confuses between “bussiness”and “home” addresses, omits stuff, it is a mess. How about if you do all your “contacts”from gmail? That is a possibility but you are left with the problem of not having your contacts when the BB is out of range (airplane, foreign coutry, ect).

    I was used to the corporate BB RIM server connnected to a MS Exchange service. It started 5 years ago working only wih the e-mail. After a few months ATT and RIM were providing calendar syncs real time and flawlees. A couple of years later contacts were being sync absolutely perfect.

    Now I have a Blackberry 8130 with Verizon. Verizon does not offter an e-mail service. The work with Gmail and Yahoo is reasonable for e-mail service. Calendar also works (60 days periods only) and very often the sync must be invoked, that is it only syncs if you request, other times is syncs automatically.

    As far as contacts go the only alternative seems to be via the browser and the access the contacts available on the gmail. It is odd that Google and RIM do not get together and solve this problem.

  8. Pingback: mobile contacts > gsync > gmail > groups > multiple recipient: doesn't work - Google Community

  9. I love how people just assume that a free blog will just magically answer all of their problems. Then when it doesn’t…the blog has wronged them by wasting their time.

    Why not stop whining and spend some time trying to figure the answer out for yourself instead of relying on some body else to answer all your questions.

  10. Thank you for your blog. It is very helpful. I sync my blackberry to my gmail account and all of the contacts came across with email accounts but not phone numbers.

    How do I get the phone numbers and address to come across from the blackberry to the gmail contact information? Please advise.


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

  12. how to import contacts from blackberry contacts to gmail contacts so that i can export the same contacts to my android phone.


  13. hi guys i have two contact lists in my storm 2 with the same email id i dont know how.
    the google sync sync’s one of them but not the other one plz advice.

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