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How to Import Contacts into Android 2

Let's continue with our journey into creating a decent contact database. In the previous chapter we looked at the various ways to do mass-import (or bulk-import) of contacts stored either in the Google Cloud or other systems such as the Mac Address Book, Outlook, Outlook Express, Yahoo! Mail, Hotmail, Eudora and others. Now we'll continue yo look at how to handle the situations when the data is spread and finally how we pull it all together.

4 Your contacts' information is on an old phone

Most phones have some way to export the contacts. The capabilities vary by manufacturer and phone. In the worst case scenario you should be able to store your contacts on the SIM card. Then when you move the SIM card to your new Android Phone then you can import from the SIM card.

Many phones also have the capabilities to export to an SD card, sometimes called just "storage". If you get the option, try with the vCard format, if not, just regular CSV format. Then move the SD card to your your new phone and import.

The example below shows how you first export your contacts on the old phone to the SD card on the left screen. Then you move the SD card to your new phone, go into Contacts, tap the menu or through the overflow menu then you'll get the options in the middle screen where you select Import. In the right screen you have the options to import from the SIM card or storage (i.e. SD card).

Old phone New phone New phone
Export Contacts Contacts Menu Import Contacts

5 Clean-up and Complement the Contact Information

This part is usually easiest to do on a PC, like we described in the Import Contacts 1 chapter. After you've sign in you have access to great tools to merge, clean-up, and complement the contact information. Let's use a simple example for demonstration purposes. In the PC screenshot below we have just two contact lines, which actually is the same person, but neither is complete. The screenshot below shows the summary:

The three screenshots below show the details. The first contact has the name, phone number and birthday. The second has the picture, an email address and the home address. We want to merge the first and the second so it becomes complete, as in the rightmost screen below:

Contact part 1 Contact part 2 Complete contact

Let's examine the tools Google provides us with. The first one is probably the one to start with when you have many contacts and potential duplicates. Click More then on the drop-down box Find & merge duplicates. You'll get a chance to review the details before the action is completed.

The second one is more granular, that is, you select each line you want merged by the clicking the tick-box to the left. Click More then on the drop-down box Merge Contacts. This is really for fine tuning, when you might have different names etc. Both this method and the method above would have produced the desired results for our little example.

Once you have completed this set-up of most of the information for your contacts you should take this opportunity to go through your contacts one by one, review the information and complete with e.g. photo, physical address, birthday, anniversaries etc. Then you'll have it all in one place! To add or change a contact's photo just click on the old photo or empty space for it, then you will be prompted to upload a file from your PC. You can also do this from your Android device, e.g. by taking a picture when you meet the person. Again, the information will be synchronized between your Android device(s) and the Google cloud.