T-rev's Blog

29 2008-08-14 06:31 how to sync the sync

more about the samsung "sync" flip-phone. (by the way, what a horrible name! how on earth are you supposed to google "sync" and find anything relevant? it does help to know that the model number is SGH-A707.)

if you save your phone number contacts to your SIM card it's easy to transfer them to another phone. it also gives you a backup copy in case the phone breaks. but if the phone gets lost, so does the SIM card. if those phone numbers are valuable to you, or if not having to re-enter them all into a new phone with your thumbs, then you should back them up to a computer.

with the free download "Samsung PC Studio 3" you can make a backup copy of your contacts via a bluetooth or usb connection. i don't know which other samsung phone models it works with, but it does work with the A707 "sync". you can also sync those contacts back to a phone.

one more advantage is that if you want to make many changes to your contacts, e.g. adding or changing area codes, deleting duplicates, etc. it might be a lot easier to do on a computer than on your phone. i cleaned up my contact list using excel.

run PC Studio 3, then select "PC Sync". under options, you can choose whether to sync from phone to PC, PC to phone, or both. you can also choose whether to use microsoft outlook contacts or a windows address book (.wab) file. i used the .wab file. the .wab option is listed as "Microsoft Outlook Express (Windows Address Book)".

you can just use the default file, but i preferred to create one specifically for phone contacts. to make a new .wab file, run "address book" from the start menu, then export to a new .wab file in the location of your choice. if there were any existing contact entries you can delete them from your new wab file. then, in PC Sync options, click "Setting" to select your empty .wab file as the sync target.

anyway, export contacts is pretty straightforward, but there was one little quirk i had to figure out for importing contacts from computer to phone. it doesn't work quite the way it ought to. the quirk and the workaround described below are the really useful information in this post.

quirk: to import from pc to phone, contacts have to have a "last name" and/or "first name" field or they won't be imported. but when you export from phone to pc, contacts do not have either of those data fields; they only have a single combined field called "name". therefore, the file you export to PC cannot be imported back to the phone!

the easy fix is to open the .wab file, export it as a text (.csv - comma separated values) file, and then delete all the contacts in the .wab. then, in the process of reimporting the .csv file back into the .wab, remap the "Name" field to "First Name". (when you do this import from text file, it will be obvious how to do the remapping. when the "change mapping" button shows up, just select the source field you want to remap, click the "change mapping" button, and select the desired destination field.) now you have a .wab file that can sync back to the A707 sync phone.

if you want, before that last step, you can manipulate the .csv file in any way you choose. another note, if you want names to be sorted by last name, use outlook instead of a .wab file. PC Sync will use outlook's "File As" values, i.e. they could be "Doe, John" instead of "John Doe".


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