Sunday, July 13, 2008

Migrating your contacts from your old phone to the iPhone 3G

You spent three hours in line in front of an Apple store and you were one of those who made it, and went back with an activated iPhone 3G. Now you are at home and you are looking at your old phone, thinking "how do I move my contacts from this old and ugly phone to my new and shiny iPhone 3G?". If you have to do it by hand, it might take you another three hours... It could work if you have to buy another iPhone 3G for someone in the family: go in line and bring the two phones, migrating your address book one-by-one.

Or, you can use Funambol and myFUNAMBOL, which is free and open source. You can do it in five minutes.

Follow these steps:
1. Sign up at myFUNAMBOL with your browser, putting in your old phone. Follow the instructions (it configures your phone over-the-air, nothing to type) and sync your address book to the portal
2. Click on "Change my phone" on the left, change your phone to the iPhone 3G, follow the instruction to install the Funambol app from the App Store, put your credentials in and sync.

Bingo, you are done. No need to waste three hours. And now you have the ability to add Outlook to the mix, if you want to keep your address book in sync over-the-air (e.g. without needing to cradle the device and use iTunes). Yes, you can do the same with MobileMe, but it is very closed and very expensive ($99/year vs. $0/year). And our open source community has built clients for Thunderbird, Mac OS X, to sync your Gmail or Yahoo address book and much more.

Which phone do we support? What if I have:
- a Motorola RAZR or something like that? YES
- a Nokia phone or something like that? YES
- a BlackBerry? YES (use the BB PIM Plug-in from the download tab in myFUNAMBOL)
- a Windows Mobile? YES
- a Sony Ericsson or something like that? YES
- a Google Android phone even if it does not exist yet? YES (it is true, there is a Funambol plug-in for Android... we are just missing the phone to test it on...)

Check the complete list of all the Funambol devices supported, it is quite impressive: thanks to the community we are passing 1,000 different models supported (wow).

BTW, MacWorld put our little iPhone sync app in the top 20 for your iPhone 3G. Can't miss it ;-)