[Updated] Setting Up Google Apps Contacts in iPhone/iPad & Mac OS X

As mentioned previously, you can setup Google Apps Mail to sync your Contacts as well. You can do this on your iPhone/iPad and your Mac.


  1. Open the Settings application on your iPhone/iPad.
  2. Open Mail, Contacts, Calendars.
  3. Tap the account being synced.
  4. Make sure Contacts is ON

Your Contacts will now begin to sync with Google and will eventually show up online. Remember, they will only show up under My Contacts. If you create another group, it will not appear on your iOS device.

Mac OS X

You can also sync your Contacts with a Mac running OS X 10.6 with your Google Apps account. has a handy posting that I have recapped below.

  1. On your Mac, launch the Address Book application.
  2. Select Address Book>>Preferences.
  3. Click on the Accounts tab.
  4. From the left side listing, select On My Mac.
  5. Check the Synchronize with Google checkbox.
  6. Click the Configure… button next to it.
  7. Enter your Google Apps username/password.
  8. Click Sync Now from your menu bar. (This is very important as nothing will happen with you manually syncing.)

This is where it might get a little tricky. The process of syncing your Contacts with Google apparently requires iSync, which Apple no longer uses in favor of MobileMe syncing. However, even with MobileMe syncing turned off, you can manually run the sync process. In this case, you will sync with Google and not MobileMe. What is unclear is whether Google sync will continue automatically or require manual intervention from this point moving forward.

At least one response to the post mentions that also setting up Yahoo syncing at the same time will result in automatic syncing. According to them, the automated process requires at least two syncing events at the same time as one along (i.e., Google) will not work.

UPDATE – March 10, 2011
I came across another software tool that purports to help manage your Google Contacts better than the default Apple method described above. They mention duplicate entries as a problem with Apple’s Address Book sync and I have in fact experienced some duplicate entries. However, it is unclear since not all my entries have be duplicated. Spurious problem or not, it might be worth your time to check out Spanning Sync as mentioned on It currently costs $25/year or $65/lifetime. But, you have the option of getting a free copy if you can convince enough of your friends to also purchase it.

  • TheGooch

    Weird, on my iPhone(ios 4) , the gmail account has calendar, mail , and notes as syncing options, not contacts. I’m using Gmail with Google Apps Standard. Have you tried it with that service?

  • Emilio Silvas

    I think if you set up the account as a Microsoft Exchange account (, you will get the option of Contact syncing. Let me know if it works for you.

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