Managing Contacts iPhone
At the heart of the iPhone’s communication features lies the Contacts list, a collection of phone numbers, e-mail addresses, and other personal data about anyone you’d ever want to talk to. You don’t just use this information to make calls; it also lets you avoid having to type in e-mail addresses every time you start a new message, or street addresses when you’re looking up directions. To truly take advantage of your device’s features, you’ll want an extensive—and up-to-date—list of contacts.
Importing Contacts onto Your Device
There are a few ways to get your contacts onto the iPhone or iPod touch. The easiest is via iTunes, which automatically syncs contacts between your computer and device.
Sort It Out
If you don’t like the way the iPhone sorts your contacts, you can change that from the Mail, Contacts, Calendars section of the Settings screen. You can choose whether your contacts are sorted by last name or first name, as well as how they’re displayed on screen (“Joe Smith” or “Smith, Joe”). Unfortunately, you can’t sort by company name.
Although you can sync the iPhone’s contacts with only one computer at a time, it doesn’t necessarily have to be the same computer that you use to sync your media files. This is useful if you keep your address book at work and your music library at home. Syncing is also bidirectional any changes made to a contact on the iPhone will show up on the computer, and vice versa.
SYNC WITH THE MAC On the Mac, the iPhone syncs contacts from OS X’s Address Book, an online Yahoo Address Book, or if you have iTunes 7.7 or later your Google contacts. The first time you connect your phone to your Mac, iTunes will ask which contacts you want to import. You can choose to import every contact in OS X’s Address Book or specify only selected groups assuming you’ve created contact groups in Address Book.
Yahoo and Google users can sync their online contacts by selecting the respective Sync Contacts option for their service. Supply your user name and password for the correct account and iTunes does the rest.
If you store your contacts in a program other than Address Book or on a Web site other than Yahoo or Google, you may still be able to use them. The trick is to get your contacts into Address Book.
If you’re using Microsoft Entourage 2008, the process is actually quite simple. First, make sure you’ve updated to the latest version of Entourage, part of Microsoft Office 11.3.5 or later. Open Entourage’s preferences, select the Sync Services screen, and then enable the option to Synchronize Contacts With Address Book And .Mac. Within minutes, your Entourage contacts will migrate to Address Book. (Note that this sync goes both ways, so if Address Book wasn’t empty, its information will also be copied to Entourage.) From that point on, Address Book, and hence the iPhone, will automatically reflect changes made to contacts in Entourage (and vice versa). Unfortunately, Entourage Categories and Groups aren’t synchronized; you’ll have to re-create them within Address Book.
OS X’s Address Book also allows you to sync with Microsoft Exchange servers running Exchange 2000 or later. In the Address Book’s General preferences pane select the Synchronize With Exchange option and enter the details about your account.
For other address-book programs and Web services, you’ll need to export your contacts in the vCard format (check the software or Web site documentation to find out how to do this). Save these exported files to a folder on your Mac, and then simply drag them into the open Address Book window to import the contacts. The downside is that you won’t be able to synchronize contacts, so whenever you make a change, you’ll have to make it in both Address Book and in your main contacts program or Web site.
SYNC WITH YOUR PC On a Windows PC, iTunes lets you sync from Microsoft Outlook, Yahoo’s Address Book, Google Contacts, or the Windows Address Book. The latter includes any contacts you’ve entered in Microsoft Outlook Express. (You can also reach the Windows Address Book from the Accessories menu; however, it’s far more likely that you’ve been using this Contacts list via Outlook Express.)
You can also pick specific groups from your address books to sync with the iPhone; these groups are then accessible via the Group screen, or via a Groups button that appears at the upper left of the All Contacts screen.
IMPORT FROM A SIM CARD If you have a SIM card from an old phone, you can easily import those contacts onto your iPhone. Insert the SIM card into the slot on top of your iPhone. Go to Settings: Mail, Contacts, Calendars. Then scroll down and tap on Import SIM Contacts.
ACCESS AN LDAP ACCOUNT If you have an LDAP (Lightweight Directory Access Protocol) account, you can connect to it from your iPhone. You’ll need the server address, a user name, and a password. Go to Settings: Mail, Contacts, Calendars: Add Account: Other: Add LDAP Account. Enter your account information, tap on Next to verify your account, then tap on Save. The LDAP account will appear in your Contacts application in a new group. These contacts are stored on the server, not on your iPhone, so you must be connected to the Internet to view and search them.
SYNC WIRELESSLY You can synchronize your iPhone’s contacts over the air, without connecting to your computer. However, in order to do so you need to be using either Apple’s MobileMe service or a Microsoft Exchange server (including Google, via the Google Mobile service).
To enable over-the-air syncing on your iPhone, visit the Settings application and go to the Mail, Contacts, Calendars section. A list of the e-mail accounts on your phone will be displayed; tap on a MobileMe or Exchange account and you’ll have the option to turn syncing on or off individually for Mail, Contacts, and Calendars. MobileMe users can also sync Web browser bookmarks.
Once your contacts are set up to sync, any changes you make on your iPhone will be reflected in the service you sync with, for example in your MobileMe contacts on your Mac and on the Web, or with your Exchange address book.
If you turn off mobile syncing at a later time, the synced contacts will be removed from your phone. You’ll need to either re-enable syncing or connect your iPhone to your computer to restore them.
Enter Contacts Manually
You can also add contacts from the iPhone. To access your Contacts list, tap on the Contacts button from the Home screen or tap on the Phone button and then select Contacts from the row of buttons along the bottom of the screen.
To start a new contact, tap on the plus sign (+) at the top right of the screen. A blank form will appear. Tap on each section to enter the appropriate contact information, including the name, number (or numbers, as the case may be), e-mail address, and Web site. But you’re not limited to the default list of contact fields. Tap on Add Field to access a list of additional options, including birthday (or any important date), nickname, job title, instant messaging name, and a general Note field that you can use for any details that don’t fit elsewhere.
There are plenty of other cool things you can do with your contacts. For particularly important callers, such as your spouse or boss, you can assign a custom ringtone so you can immediately identify their calls. Apple provides 25 built-in ringtones, but you can add more by purchasing them via the iTunes Store, or you can use a third-party application such as Ambrosia Software’s iToner ( http://www.ambrosiasw.com/ ) or Rogue Amoeba’s Fission ( http://www.rogueamoeba.com/ ) to make your own.
For people you call often, tap the Add To Favorites button at the bottom of the contact to create a shortcut to his or her number.
You can further personalize your contacts by adding photos to them. The photo will appear on screen whenever you have that person on the line—for both incoming and outgoing calls. To add a photo to a contact, tap on Edit at the top of the contact’s Info screen, and then tap on Add Photo. You can add a photo from one of the iPhone’s photo albums, or you can take a fresh photo on the spot. If you choose the latter option, the iPhone will switch to Camera mode so you can snap a photo. Photos taken directly from the Contacts screen won’t appear in the iPhone’s Camera Roll photo album.
If you receive a call from a number that isn’t currently in your address book, you can quickly add that number to an existing contact or create a new contact for it by tapping on the arrow next to the phone number in the Recents list. In the resulting screen, tap on Create New Contact and fill in any additional contact information you may have, or tap on Add To Existing Contact and select an entry from your Contacts list.
To delete a contact, tap on the Edit button at the top of that contact’s entry and then scroll down to Delete Contact.
If you’ve scrolled down to the bottom of the alphabet and then decide to search for a contact, there’s no need to waste time scrolling back up to the top. Instead, tap on the top contacts bar. You’ll immediately jump to the search bar at the top of the Contacts pane.
Looking up a contact on the iPhone is a simple affair. The All Contacts list shows every contact on your iPhone listed alphabetically. You can scroll up and down the list with a corresponding flick of your finger or use the alphabet running down the right side of the screen to jump to contacts starting with a particular letter. You can also search through your contacts by entering text in the search box at the top of the list, though the iPhone only searches by name or company name. Alternatively, you can perform a Spotlight search in the main Spotlight screen (swipe left to right on the Home screen to bring up Spotlight). Your results will include matching contacts, along with matching results in other categories such as e-mail.
If you have your contacts divided into groups and synced with the iPhone, you can look through them by tapping on the Groups button and selecting a group from the resulting list.
Tap on a phone number to place a call immediately. If you tap on an address instead, the Maps program will open and pinpoint the contact’s location. Tapping on an e-mail address will launch a blank e-mail in the iPhone’s Mail client addressed to that contact. You can also send a text message by tapping the Text Message button, as long as you have a phone number for that contact.
Share a Contact
If you want to share a contact on your iPhone with someone else, select the desired contact, scroll to the bottom of the entry, and tap on the Share Contact button. This will open up a new e-mail with the contact attached as a vCard (.vcf) file. Enter an e-mail address to share it with and tap on Send.
If you have an iPhone 3G or later and your carrier allows MMS messages, you can also share contacts via MMS message. When you tap on Share Contact at the bottom of Search Party You can search for contacts from within the Address book, or use the main Spotlight search page the screen, you’ll see an additional option for MMS. Tap on MMS, pick a recipient for your message, and tap on Send.