Keeping GMail Contacts, Mac OS X Address Book, and Thunderbird in sync with iSync.

Well, ’tis the season to be jolly about Address Book and GMail Contacts.  Holiday cards need to be addressed, after all.   We’ve mentioned sync between these two before (for Mac OS X 10.5.3+ only), but didn’t get very far before running into trouble –  the Scotsman does not have a pricey iPod, or Mobile Me account, and our crummy bluetooth Sprint phone just laughs at iSync.

Never fear,  it turns out that all you need to do is follow this guy’s instructions:

How to Enable Mac Address Book to Sync with Google’s Gmail Contacts without an iPhone or .Mac [Mac Guide] : Zaphu

If you don’t have any iSync devices such as mobile phones or PDAs then you will also need to enable Yahoo syncing for this to work, see this guide for more information.

Hey.  A Yahoo account?  I have one of those, at least for now.  With a little editing of the iPod plist file in my Library, Yahoo!, GMail and Apple Address Book are all in sync.

To top it off, if you take the plunge and jump to the Thunderbird 3.0 Beta it’s contacts are integrated with the Mac OS X Address Book as well.  That makes this extension for syncing Thunderbird 2.0 with GMail Contacts sort of redundant, except that it does a periodic sync in the background.  Apple’s iSync can only be scheduled for the Mobile Me account and is manually launched for other devices.

But since there are at least three ways to automate periodic execution of a task on a Mac, that should not be considered a failing.  So with the help of Lingon and some AppleScript the automatic sync of Contacts across platforms pretty much just works (remember to turn on assistive devices).

As an added bonus if you set up your other Macs the same way, all your Mac Address books will stay in sync with each other.  Sweet.

Published in: on December 12, 2008 at 8:35 pm  Comments (17)  

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17 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I put together an Apple script that runs the “Sync Now” and sends Growl a notification. You can get it here

    You’re welcome to use it or change it but I can’t be held responsible for what it might do to your addresses, iPod, computer, or the broader Universe.

    It’d be great if an expert made it better and re-posted it in comments here.

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