Google Contacts Custom Labels
It's such a tragedy that webOS lost in the marketplace. It was, in so many ways, superior to iOS.
Today I stumbled into yet another disappointement with iOS compared to webOS. When I got my iPhone (Sprint) about two months ago, I connected to my google contacts by defining my google account as an exchange account. So far, so good. Today, I went into my contacts looking for a phone number. It was a business. The contact was there, but there were no phone numbers. Turns out, in google, I had created custom labels for the phone numbers - "Main" and "Service." webOS handled this perfectly. iOS, not so much. Since the custom labels I created did not match any of iOS's pre-defined choices (home, work, home fax, etc), it just ignored the numbers.
Lame, very lame.
- 12-14-2011, 01:00 AM #2
I do not agree with you. Google published it's known issues with iOS relative to Google Sync quite some time ago - look up Google Sync "Known Issues", under "Contacts". As for a baseline, I use a Pre Plus for over a year, and WebOS was/is fettered by an identical limitation of features relative to the "Exchange" account type. Syncing with a Google or Gmail account presents an entirely different set of compatibilities, and Google publishes those as well. Nowhere in Google's known issues do they list field mapping with the "Custom" label.
For iOS relative to Google Sync - "Limited Contact Information. The iOS device can synchronize up to 3 email addresses. Phone number synchronization is limited to 2 Home numbers, 1 Home Fax, 1 Mobile, 1 Pager, 3 Work (one will be labeled 'Company Main') and one Work Fax number." Copy/paste. Similar with a Gmail account. The two web pages have been pretty static for over a year. Ditto that for WebOS.
I hacked the heck out of my Pre+, even using the WebOS Internals 2.1 OS, tried to get it working well with Google Services. So did my friends. Lots of people on Precentral had problems just like me. iOS doesn't map with Google's Contacts. Neither does WebOS.
- 12-17-2011, 12:07 AM #3iPhone Newbie
- 10 Posts
Bones pretty much hit the nail on the head there. It's a limitation I believe of the ActiveSync implementation of contacts and VCARD versions. Outlook, if you have messed with contacts in that, has the exact same limitation. You can only have a certain small number of (inadequate, IMO) phone or email entries per contact. There's no such thing as a "custom label" in Outlook, and I'm pretty sure that follows suit with Exchange Server and what it is expecting or able to store in its contact format/database. The point: Blame Microsoft, there. Their contacts system is insanely antiquated. As I was complaining at some point -- they have stupid entries like PAGER and RADIO -- but they only will allow for 1 mobile. Asinine. It's almost 2012. I know people with several mobile numbers, counting like... Google Voice going to their mobile, etc. So I ended up having to put those in fields like PAGER or ASSISTANT.
Now... here's the thing. There's iCloud now... which will let you create as many custom labels as you want. Your problem was not the result of iCloud limitations -- it was the result of Google's limitations, which were actually the result of Microsoft's software limitations! Long chain of blame, I know... but that's the truth of it.
I couldn't wait for the day that Google finally supported CardDAV. The last time I checked, their help files said it was being worked on but had no ETA. They do support CalDAV though.
At present, I believe (I could be wrong) but I believe with the recent upgrade to Google in general, you can go into your contacts and edit and create custom labels for your fields. Whether that's a hack on Google's part, or what, if that's true.
Once again, though; bones gave a solid answer, I'm just backing him up with that.
I would recommend creating an iCloud account, getting all of your information moved over, then not have to worry about those limitations and crap again. You can still use Gmail as your primary mail service, and use CalDAV for your calendar -- the only thing that's gonna be a problem is contacts, but that's why I say make the switch over to iCloud for your syncing. Look in the thread called ... I'll find it, where I go into the details.
There's just so much more functionality in using iCloud that you're missing with using Google as an Exchange Server. It syncs so much more and provides an online over-the-air backup for your app settings, etc. Including your photos, documents, bookmarks, reminders, notes... etc.
Essentially, I use iCloud for all my syncing except for my email. I use Gmail as my email server, and I forward all emails going to my @me.com account over to Google, so I have all my mail in one place.
Here is one screenshot I can provide you of the difference:
If you decide you want to convert it over and need help, I'd be glad to give you a hand, send me a Private Message or something in case I forget to check back here to be sure you can get ahold of me. Not sure if bones has the extra time, but he's obviously knowledgable as well, so if he's willing he might could also help.
Just let us know... or maybe you were just wanting to vent. Either way, I understand, I had the same thing happen to me during migration and I ended getting all my stuff just... f---ed up. I nearly had to re-do my contacts since everything was butchered.
If you're interested in reading further on the issue, I recommend these links for you:
Wikipedia - vCard - Talks about the different versions of vCards, as well as vCard extensions, and the new XML based xCards. There's also something called a meCard... which I'm not honestly sure what the difference is with that...
Understanding Direct Push - This was also interesting to me, it goes into the actual steps/technical process of how Direct Push (ActiveSync Push) works (it's not *that technical or complicated, but it may help explain why they say Push can be worse on battery life than Fetch).
Wikipedia - Push technology - You'd probably only find interest in that if you're higher up in technical understanding of different web technologies and concepts. Though, you may be, so I threw it in here just in case.
I am using iCloud for a few things, although I had to turn off photos when I exceeded the free storage. I can easily copy my photos and videos to dropbox. A little less convenient, but still free.
Regarding iOS compared to webOS, yes, I was venting. I'm one of the many who was really pleased with webOS and am really grieving its failure. As far as handling contacts, it's just my experience in that one particular instance that I described in my original post, webOS worked much better than iOS.
Last edited by RJKinsman; 12-30-2011 at 11:33 AM.
- 12-30-2011, 11:36 PM #5
The only hitch I have here with my setup is with two of my attorneys who use iPhones and are in my Exchange account - there's no field for "iPhone" but I wouldn't be using FaceTime with them anyway (I use Lync), so it's not a big deal for me.
Since I learned how iOS and Android "recognize" a contact when synching happens - via email addresses in the contact data, managing my contacts is simple. My rule would work for an iCloud/Google set up, it did for me and my company until I ported to Office365 from Google Apps about a week ago. I also don't allow my employees to edit contacts on their mobile devices, none of the cloud providers seem to have that down yet.
And, my Pre Plus is still running in Dev Mode, not "talking" to anything. I haven't the heart to let it go. It tells me the time, that's about it.
- 06-03-2012, 02:57 PM #6iPhone Nanite
- 2 Posts
Google Contacts with custom named fields should sync with iPad /iPhone contacts
I too tried to get my Google contacts onto my iPad with almost disastrous results. *I have an android phone using Google contacts for a couple thousand clients as well as all my personal contacts. *I have been very impressed with Google contacts in its flexibility to seamlessly organize, sync and update my contacts without losing important information or creating multiple contacts. *It is easy to combine contacts if I get an e-mail from a client that isn't in my contact list.
I got the new iPad for a gift to use for client presentations. *I tried to sync my Google contacts with the Apple contact app on my iPad. *I eventually figured out the only way to do this was to use Microsoft Exchange which would covert my Google contacts to a Microsoft format and then would sync with Apple's contact format. *In the process I noticed that many of my numbers and some addresses didn't sync to my iPad because in Google Contacts I had created custom fields for them. *
Since Microsoft doesn't recognize custom fields and there is a limit to, for example, the number of phone numbers per contact in Microsoft Outlook Exchange, *it made syncing my Google Contacts to the iPad useless. *There is no way I could go through all my contacts to change them to standard field names and I wouldn't want to anyway since the custom fields gives me vital information on client numbers for different individuals and departments in each contact. *Also, many of my contacts for organizations have more than a dozen numbers for different departments and using the Microsoft Exchange sync process allows less than a dozen. *
Even worse, when I went to look at my Google contacts on my phone and computer, the Apple contacts on my iPad had changed my Google contacts custom name fields for phone numbers to "unknown" I lost all my distinct phone number names on my Google contacts. *Fortunately I was able to restore to an earlier Google data point before Apple contacts had changed my Google account and I was able to restore my custom contacts. *
So here is my beef: I think that I should be able to sync these custom fields from Google Contacts since Apple Contacts supports custom fields. *I feel as though Apple wants to use Microsoft as the scape goat and Google, not having the best relationship with apple isn't able to do anything about it. *The easy solution to me seems for Apple to create a direct sync from Google Contacts to Apple Contacts so that all fields and their names move over to my Apple device. I don't know if the reverse problem exists from Apple contacts to Google contacts but I would say that Google would be responsible to make that happen.
If Apple wants to get more Android users to use their products they need to create a direct sync from Google Contacts (including *fields) to Apple's Contact format. *I'm not going to change over to iCloud for practical reasons and because I will likely always have an android device, I will more likely buy Apple devices as well if synchronization is seemless between Google contacts and Apple devices.
- 06-04-2012, 06:43 PM #7iPhone Nanite
- 2 Posts
I Found the Solution! It was a simple app, go figure.
I was able to use an app I found at the apple store for $3.99 called " Contacts Sync for Google Mail" I was able to sync all my contacts, many of which contained custom named labels for phone numbers, addresses and e-mail addresses. There was no limit to the number of phone numbers with these custom labels synced over to iCloud and my iPad Contacts. This app worked seamlessly and it was fast. I had e-mailed customer support for the app prior to purchasing and they go back to me pronto with my answer confirming it would work for me. Make sure to read the in app user guide to figure out if you want to merge your google contacts with your iPad/iCloud contacts, or just replace them and what your setting should be once you do your first sync. The help section is a must.
I am stoked!
Last edited by Ironmitch; 06-04-2012 at 06:51 PM.