AMITIAE - Sunday 8 March 2015

Cassandra: Working in Two-Dimensions - Contacts from iPhone iOS to Samsung Kit-Kat

apple and chopsticks


By Graham K. Rogers


Although my mother apparently likes her Samsung phone with Android Kit-Kat installed even less than I do, I am persevering (lurch by lurch) out of the dutiful need to be ready for her next question. For example, this evening I let the family know how they can use free Wi-Fi (that they have seen) to connect to the internet and reduce costs on the SIM card, which is all that has been used so far for online access.

Signal I had left the Samsung phone on the bedside table for a couple of days and of course the battery was flat, so took a short while to charge that, then had another look inside. I was intrigued by the Twitter chat I had Saturday with a local user who had been in Singapore.

In a discussion about Signal - a secure telephony app, suggested by Edward Snowden - he had mentioned he was using the Android version called, Redphone. I downloaded Signal from the app store and installed it. Within a few minutes we were talking via the two apps in (presumably) total security. And if security forces had wanted to listen in, I guarantee it might have cured any insomnia.

I was just about to download Redphone for the Samsung, when I thought about making the phone more usable first. I decided to start with the address book. All this contained were a few numbers from the local carrier and my own bare details that I had entered when first setting it up. I needed the data I have on my iPhone on the Samsung.

With iOS devices this is no problem, syncing with a Mac, or via iCloud. I am also told that between certain Android devices tapping them back to back will allow the transfer process of everything linked to a Google account to be started. Heaven knows what that does to the plastic.

Neither iCloud nor the Mac were going to help directly. Instead I opened Contacts on OS X and exported the entire contents as a .VCF file. The Vcard format is a standard format for address data. The one I had was 6MB when exported. I attached this to a mail message that I sent to myself using an email account that was available on the Samsung.

When the message arrived, it went into the downloads folder and in there, I double-tapped on it and the system recognised it for what it was, importing all the addresses (including some photographs) into the address book on the Samsung.

Graham K. Rogers teaches at the Faculty of Engineering, Mahidol University in Thailand where he is also Assistant Dean. He wrote in the Bangkok Post, Database supplement on IT subjects. For the last seven years of Database he wrote a column on Apple and Macs. He is now continuing that in the Bangkok Post supplement, Life.



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