If you've recently switched - perhaps we should say 'upgraded' - from a BlackBerry smartphone or PDA to an Apple iPhone, one of the first jobs you'll want to do is transfer all your contacts: a vital but (luckily) fairly simple task. In this tutorial we show you how to transfer contacts from a BlackBerry to an iPhone in a few scenarios; from a new BlackBerry 10 device, for instance, or from an older BlackBerry phone.
Many of us use an iPhone as our personal phone, but are saddled with a BlackBerry by our employers. There's nothing wrong with that, of course, but it would be nice to be able to rely only on the iPhone. For that you need to set up your work email on your iPhone, which may or may not be possible, depending on your employer's BYOD ('bring your own device') strategy. But you definitely can transfer your business contacts from your BlackBerry to your personal iPhone - here we show you how. This all works for iOS 7 and earlier version of iOS too. See also: iPhone app reviews.
How to transfer contacts from BlackBerry to iPhone using your Mac (or PC)
First we'll show you how to transfer contacts from older BlackBerry to iOS if you sync your iPhone with your Mac. To do this you can use the BlackBerry Desktop software app. You can get BlackBerry Desktop for Mac here. Then just connect your BlackBerry to your Mac and start the BlackBerry Desktop software. There is a PC version of the BlackBerry desktop software, too. The process works in exactly the same way.
In BlackBerry desktop, go to Device, Backup, and then back up your BlackBerry. This will save your Contacts to your Mac (or PC).
Now connect your iPhone to your Mac and launch iTunes. Scroll down and select 'Info', and then tick the box next to 'Sync Contacts'. The next time you sync your iPhone on your Mac your contacts will sync with your iPhone - and you're done!
Of course, you may not regularly sync your iPhone with either a Mac or a PC. And your BlackBerry may be set up in such a way that you can't back it up to your home computer. Fortunately, there is another way... Visit our iPhone spotlight for more iPhone tips.
How to transfer contacts from BlackBerry to iPhone if you use Google Apps & Google Sync
As we said in our piece on transferring contacts from Android to iPhone, once your contacts are in your Google account you can access them from just about any device. With BlackBerry, unfortunately, you can no longer use the following method unless you pay for Google Apps for Business. Clearly, you are unlikely to do that for this reason alone, but if your business uses Google Apps the following may work:
- On your BlackBerry go to m.google.com/sync. Download the google sync app when prompted.
- Launch the app and enter your Google account username and password - if you have a Gmail account it's this login. If you don't have a Google account (and we'd be surprised), setting one up is free. Just open a Gmail account - you don't have to use it for email.
- Now select 'Sync Now'. Your contacts will copy over to your Gmail account.
- Head to your iPhone. Choose Settings; Mail, Contacts, Calendars. Now hit Add Account and choose Microsoft Exchange - you need to enter this email account as an Exchange account in order to fully sync contacts. Enter your Gmail address where it asks for email and again where it asks for username. Enter your Gmail password. Hit Next.
- Now scroll to the 'Server' field, and type m.google.com. Set 'Sync' to Yes under both 'Contacts' and 'Calendars'.
Your contacts data is now in your iPhone (as well as your Gmail account, should you wish to access it from your PC).
Transfer Contacts from BlackBerry 10 phone to iPhone
Not being a Google Apps for Business subscriber we couldn't get the above method to work on our BlackBerry Z10. And BlackBerry 10 phones don't come with BlackBerry Desktop software. Instead they bundle BlackBerry Link, which doesn't offer the same function.
The only good way we could find to move contacts from the BlackBerry Z10 was by using InTouch - a free app you can get from BlackBerry World, upload your contacts, and then install on to other devices. InTouch supports iOS and Android, as well as older Nokia Bada phones. And you can install a beta of the app into your desktop browser. Sounds good, right? Well, it is. And it works for all BlackBerries, as well as those other phones.
Think of it as Dropbox for contacts. If anyone knows of a better way to transfer contacts from BlackBerry 10 handsets, I'd love to hear them! Let me know in the comments below, or @mattjegan.
- Download and install the app. Accept the conditions.
- Set up an account. Hit Register, then give your name, email, mobile number, as well as a username and password. Then hit Register again.
- The app will now download your contacts from the BlackBerry. And, well, that's it. Install InTouch on any other device, or access your account from a desktop browser, and you can use all of your contact data. Indeed, update your account from anywhere and it will sync to all of your devices.