Address Migration

One of the things that always infuriates me when I get a new phone is the sheer hassle that’s always present when it comes to moving the address book (and/or contacts) from one to the other. For some reason it’s just never as simple as it could/should be.

Of course, there’s the ‘classic’ option, of saving all the contacts onto the SIM card instead of on the phone. But if you actually use the contacts and address book, then you need them to be on the phone – the SIM just holds ‘name &number’ data. So if you have a contact called (for example) Tom, and he has a home phone, work phone, mobile, and email, that’s four records on the SIM. On the phone, it’s one record – which is, of course, how it should be.

But I’m yet to find a phone that has a simple “Send all the contacts from this phone to another one” – whether that’s by Messaging, Bluetooth, IR, or anything else. Even (or, perhaps, particularly) Windows Mobile can’t manage this task – it can send your contacts one at a time, so why can’t it do all of them in one big bundle of data?

In fairness to Windows Mobile®, it does synchronise with MS Office on a PC. Fortunately, so does my new phone. So I could connect the XDA to the PC, synch all the contacts off the phone into MS Outlook , disconnect the XDA, connect the K800i (which, of course, also has a completely different cable) and synch the contacts out of Outlook onto the K800i. But all the same, what a faff.

Is it really that difficult to handle phone contact transfers?

I know (before Gordon says it) that this is one of those events where user-centred design would work really nicely. I don’t care how the phone transfers the address book – I want it to Just Work™, without being a nightmare faff of cables, or one-by-one data transfers. Just one simple ‘Move my address book to another phone’ option – or perhaps even a first-use option (i.e. one where the process is part of the initial phone set-up) that simply says “Copy the address book from your old phone?” – and if you choose it, you get to choose whether the data transfer is done by IR, Bluetooth, WiFi, or something else. (Bluetooth is the ideal candidate, of course, with WiFi a close second).

Is that too much to ask?

One Comment on “Address Migration”

  1. Gordon says:

    Who me?

    But you are right. The days of proprietary lock-in are on the decline in some areas but, alas, not in the mobile phone land. As you say, you end up going through some weird phone-SOMETHING-phone loop and that gets old very quickly.

    I believe some of the shops will do a phone transfer for you (for £25 or something) but I can’t believe they have access to any special software that isn’t available to everyone else… and if they do I’d wager you can ‘find’ it on the internet anyway..

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