I just wanted to make a quick note that it’s 3 years since I wrote this article and this is still the best sync utility for OSX and Google contacts. It’s available from the Appel store. It synchronises your Apple Contacts (from iCloud) with your Google contacts. This means that any contacts or groups you create in Gmail or on an Android device are available on your iPhone and OSX and iCloud, and vice versa. It syncs photos as well. It can sync one way (e.g. replace your iCloud contacts with your Google ones) or both way.
I find this app really handy because I have a stack of groups that I have created in my Apple Contacts. I’d like to be able to send out bulk emails or a group SMS message to these people from my Android phone. The problem is that Apple and Google are sworn enemies so iCloud will never play nicely with Gmail. ‘Contacts Sync for Google Gmail’ connects these 2 worlds of iCloud and Gmail together.
This picture explains it all.
‘Contacts Sync for Google Gmail’ synchronises your contacts between Gmail and iCloud. Note that this is not syncing your Apple computer directly with your Android phone. The synchronisation is being done ‘in the cloud’.
Once Gmail (on the web) and iCloud (on the web) are in sync it flows down to everything else (your phone and computer) automatically.
Gmail and iCloud are synched in the cloud by ‘Contacts Sync for Google Gmail.’ Then Gmail synchronises with your Android phone while iCloud syncs with your desktop computer (and iOS devices), which means everything is kept in sync.
Syncing between iCloud and Google
Step 1: Download the app from the Apple Store here:
or search for “Contacts Sync for Google Gmail” on the Mac App Store:
Step 2: The first thing you need to do is enter your account details for your Google account and your Mac iCloud account. To do this go to ‘Accounts to Sync’ and log into Google and then log into Mac.
Step 3: Now you can select ‘sync.’ There are three options:
- 2 way sync will merge all your contacts together.
- Gmail –> iCloud will delete all your iCloud contacts and import your contacts from Gmail.
- iCould –> Gmail will delete all your Gmail contacts and import your contacts from iCloud into Gmail.
After the sync is complete it will notify you of which contacts were updated.
You can keep the app running in the background and select ‘Auto Sync’ so that changes to either iCloud or Gmail are copied across. Otherwise you can manually sync when you want to.
Removing Duplicate Contacts
I found that after the sync I had a lot of ‘duplicate’ contacts. (I had 2 or 3 versions of the same contact.)
Thankfully Gmail has the ability to find duplicate contacts and to merge them together.
(You can’t do this in the Apple Contacts so the merging needs to be done on the Gmail side).
To merge contacts, firstly log into your Gmail account and select “Contacts” under the “Mail” menu.
Now go to the “More” menu and select “Find & merge duplicates…” This will find all the contacts that have similar data. Don’t worry, it will prompt you with all the contacts it has found and prompt you to continue before it merges them.
I found that I had to use contact sync to sync between iCloud and Gmail, then I ran find and merge duplicates, then I synced again, and so on, and after I had done this cycle for five times all the duplicates were removed.