Syncing your iCloud Contacts and Calendars from your Mac or iOS device to an Android device and back is a lot easier than you think with the right apps, and that’s exactly what I will show in this post.
There were times when I had only PC’s at home, but at some point I switched to the Mac. After the Mac came the iPod followed by the iPhone and the iPad. I transitioned from .Mac to MobileMe to .Me and finally to iCloud, so I had all my contacts and calendars in iCloud. A few years ago I started using an Android smartphone and soon I had a problem to be solved! How can I easily sync iCloud contacts and calendars between my Macs / iOS devices and Android devices?
What is the problem to be solved?
Over the years I have been adding my contacts to Address Book (now called Contacts I believe) and I have been managing all that data using Address Book. I made sure all my contacts were filed correctly with their home and professional email, addresses and phone numbers. As long as you stay within the walled Apple garden, that is the way to go. Adding a contact on the Mac magically makes it appear on my iPhone a few minutes later thanks to iCloud. Changing the information on another device updates it on my iPhone and Mac as well.
Two years ago, that was my main reason not to buy an Android device. I didn’t want to reenter all that information in Google’s services, nor did I want to export vCards or CSV files to import them on the dark side. After all, changes made on the Android device wouldn’t get updated on my mac anyway. Surely, there had to be a way to fix this …
Smoothsync for Cloud Contacts to the Rescue!
I wasn’t asking for a lot, just an easy way to get my iCloud contacts with Android devices was a good start. Even better would be if changes made on the Mac / iOS side would get propagated to the Android device. If it would also work the other way around, then I would be in heaven and no longer have an excuse not to try out the Android platform.
Luckilly I found Smoothsync for Cloud Contacts which does exactly that! It syncs you iCloud contacts to your Android device, updates the information if something gets changed and even propagates the changes you make on your android device back to iCloud and thus to your Mac and iOS devices. All that for 3.65 euro
Installing and Configuring the App
Once I bought Smoothsync for Cloud Contacts on the Google Play store it got installed on my Android device.When starting up for the first time, the application asks you to enter your iCloud credentials and password in order to sync all your iCloud contacts to your Phone. Once you press next the application will start syncing your iCloud contacts.
Adding or Editing contacts on your Android device
When your contacts are synced, you can still add new contacts or edit existing ones on your Android device. The first time it should ask you if you want to ‘Complete action using Contacts or Smoothsync for Cloud Contacts‘. If you now choose Smoothsync for Cloud Contacts then any change you make and save to the contact will also get propagated to iCloud, and thus also to your Macs and iOS devices.
By default this is a two way synchronizationAny changes you now make to the contacts on your Android devices will get saved on the device, but will also get updated on iCloud. Depending on the Sync settings you should see the changes appear on iCloud and later on also on your iOS and Mac devices.
Changes you make on your Mac and iOS devices will also get uploaded to iCloud and will appear on your synced Android devices as well. How cool is that? And only for 3.56 euros.
Of course there are some additional settings which you can access by opening the application again and picking ‘Edit account settings‘. This will give you the opportunity to set the Sync interval or even indicate if the app has to do a one-way sync only (from iCloud to your Android device but not the other way around).
Android Jelly Bean and some Samsung users read this
I have to say that Android Jelly Bean users and users of some Samsung devices might have one slight problem. They might have to re-enter their iCloud credentials every time their Android device reboots. This isn’t a bug in the application but seems to be an Android Jelly Bean bug (which hasn’t been fixed on some Samsung Android builds neither). The developer has a work-around for that!
But personally, re-entering my iCloud credentials every time my Samsung Galaxy S4 reboots is no problem at all and really makes Smoothsync for Cloud Contacts a must-have app on all my Android devices.
Oh … and there is One More Thing
In case you are wondering how you can do the same thing for iCloud Calendars, well the developer also created Smoothsync for Cloud Calendars, which does the same thing for Calendars. All in all for about 7.12 euro (not even 10 dollars) you iCloud Contacts and Calendars will be in sync between all your iOS / Android and Mac devices.