Google announced support today for a new, easier way to sync your Gmail contacts with iOS: A protocol called CardDAV. Starting immediately, Google is now supporting the new standard on iOS 5 or later, as well as on Mac OS X Leopard and later.
For many years, we’ve supported two open protocols for accessing Gmail and Calendar from mobile apps and devices: IMAP for email and CalDAV for calendar. These protocols, combined with the options to access Gmail, Calendar, and Contacts with your desktop or mobile browser and via native apps on iOS and Android, help ensure you have a great experience regardless of the device you use. […] Starting today, we’re adding CardDAV – an open protocol for contacts – to that list.
Users have previously been able to sync Google contacts with their Apple devices using Exchange, iTunes settings, or through the Contacts and Calendar apps on OS X – so how exactly is CardDAV any better or easier than what users have already been able to do?
CardDAV offers several benefits over Exchange and other syncing methods. For example, while previous syncing methods require manual input from the user, CardDAV is completely automatic, working its magic behind the scenes over Google’s cloud. Google explains the benefits as follows:
When you sync your Google contacts using CardDAV, you’ll be able to edit, add, and remove contacts from your device and keep them in sync everywhere you use them… If you have set up iCloud, are syncing contacts from another account, or already have contacts stored on the device, you will need to select a Default Account. New contacts created directly on your iOS device will be added to your default account.
The new simpler protocol is just one more way Google is working their way more deeply into Apple’s platforms. The combination of CardDAV, the IMAP email protocol, and CalDAV support for calendars provides users of Google’s services a clean, simple, and automatic way to manage their digital lives.
For more information on how to start syncing your Google Contacts using CardDAV, check out Google’s detailed instruction page.