More on transferring contacts from your BlackBerry to your new smartphone

How to use Google as your universal contact courier between phones

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What keeps people on the BlackBerry platform? The feel of the keyboard, sure. BlackBerry Messenger, maybe. But in some cases, based on email and comments received at ITWorld, another answer can be summed up as “I really don’t want to transfer all my contacts over.” SO a little while back, I wrote up a post on transferring contacts from a BlackBerry to iPhone or Android.

The “trick,” such as it was, involved syncing your BlackBerry to Google’s contacts server, then syncing those Google contacts to your new phone, which is almost always an option on any newer smartphone. That’s the method I prefer for transferring contacts between any two phones; it just happens that Google makes a BlackBerry sync client that makes the process pretty easy. But a few questions have popped up in the comments and replies to that post, and I thought I’d address them here, rather than in comments that require lots of scrolling:

But I don’t have a Google/Gmail address--I’m a MobileMe/Hotmail/Yahoo user. Will this still work?

Absolutely. The idea is to just use Google’s servers as a go-between for your contacts. You’ll sign up with a Google account to use it, but when the contacts arrive on your phone, they’re available for use by whatever email service you prefer to use.

Ugh, duplicates. Everybody I know is listed twice.

Hey, I hear you. I just checked Google Contacts myself, and I had 93 duplicate contacts listed. How did I find them? By heading to contacts.google.com, then clicking the “More” button on top of the contact list. You’ll get a pop-up window that shows every contact that Google thinks is a duplicate, based on the name or email address. After reviewing the duplicates and merging them, wait for your phone to sync with Google once more, and you should see a decided lack of clones.

Merging duplicates in Google Contacts

You can also possibly cut Google off from ever picking up those duplicates by opening your BlackBerry’s contact folder and choosing not to allow duplicate names in the options, as detailed by a Lifehacker commenter.

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