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Configuring and Synchronizing Information on an iPhone

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In this chapter, you learn how to get information onto your iPhone and keep it in sync with computers and other devices.

The topics include the following:

  • Syncing with iTunes on a computer
  • Syncing with iCloud
  • Syncing with Exchange

In later chapters, you learn how you can use your iPhone for email, contacts, calendars, and web browsing. All these tasks are easier and better when you sync information among all the devices you use, such as your iPhone, a computer, an iPad, and so on. If you already have a lot of this information on your computer, or in an Exchange, iCloud, or similar account, which you probably do, it’s a good idea to sync it to your iPhone so that you don’t have to manually configure information on the iPhone. Once you set up the sync process, you always have the same information available to you on your computers, your iPhone, and other devices.

There are two basic ways you can sync an iPhone with your other devices. You can sync your information with iTunes, much like you do for music, video, and so on. Or, you can use a “cloud” based account, such as iCloud or Exchange. Using a cloud account is better because you don’t have to connect to your computer, or even be on the same network, to sync your information. As long as your iPhone is connected to the Internet, it can sync. You can use both of these techniques simultaneously; for example, you may choose not to store some information on the cloud and so can only sync it via iTunes.

Syncing Information with iTunes

In Chapter 3, “Moving Audio, Video, Books, and Photos onto Your iPhone,” you learned how to move audio, video, and other types of content from your iTunes Library onto your iPhone. Using a similar process, you can move email accounts, calendars, contacts, and bookmarks from your computer onto your iPhone. This information also gets synced each time you connect your iPhone to the computer or sync over Wi-Fi, so any changes you make on the iPhone move back to the computer, and vice versa.

If you only use iCloud, Exchange, Google, or similar services for email, calendars, contacts, and so on, you don’t need to sync information with iTunes. You can skip to the section, “Syncing Information with iCloud.” If you have other kinds of email accounts, calendar information, or contacts stored on your computer that you want to sync on your iPhone, you can use iTunes to sync that information on your iPhone.

To sync with iTunes, you need to first configure the information you want to sync, which isn’t a big deal. Once the sync is configured, you can sync your iPhone via Wi-Fi or by connecting it to your computer.

As with some other tasks, the details to use iTunes to sync are slightly different on a Mac than they are on a Windows PC, so read the section that applies to the kind of computer you use.

Using iTunes to Sync Information on Macs

To set up information syncing on a Mac, perform the following steps:

  1. Connect the iPhone to your Mac.
  2. Select the iPhone on the iTunes Source list.
  3. Click the Info tab.
  4. To sync the contacts in the Contacts app on your Mac to your iPhone, check Sync Contacts; if you don’t want to sync this information (such as if you use iCloud to sync), skip to step 11 instead.
  5. To sync all your contact information, click All contacts and skip to step 8.

  6. If you organize your contact information in groups and want to move only specific ones onto the iPhone, click Selected groups.
  7. Check the check box next to each group you want to move to the iPhone. If you leave a group’s check box unchecked, the contacts it contains are ignored during the sync process.
  8. If you want contacts you create on the iPhone to be stored in a specific Contacts group when you sync, check the Add contacts created outside of groups on this iPhone to check box and select the group on the pop-up menu. If you don’t want them placed into a specific group, leave the check box unchecked.
  9. To sync with your contacts stored in your Google account, check Sync Google Contacts contacts, click Agree, and follow the onscreen prompts to log into your Google account.

  10. Scroll down until you see the Calendars section.
  11. Check Sync Calendars to move your Calendar calendars onto the iPhone; if you don’t want to sync calendar information (such as if you use iCloud), skip to step 16.
  12. If you want all the calendars you access in Calendar to be synced on the iPhone, click the All calendars radio button and skip to step 15.

  13. If you want only selected calendars to move onto the iPhone, click the Selected calendars radio button.
  14. Check the check box next to each calendar that you want to sync on the iPhone.
  15. If you want to prevent older events from syncing, check the Do not sync events older than check box and enter the number of days after which events should be excluded from the sync in the box.

  16. Scroll down until you see the Mail Accounts section.
  17. Check Sync Mail Accounts if you want to add email accounts configured in Mail to the iPhone; skip to step 19 if you don’t want any of your email accounts synced. (For example, configure iCloud email or Exchange accounts directly on the iPhone).

  18. Check the check box for each account you want to move onto the iPhone.
  19. Check the Sync Safari bookmarks check box if you want to sync your Safari bookmarks so you can use them with the iPhone’s web browser; if you don’t want this, skip this step.

  20. Scroll down to the Advanced section.
  21. Check the check boxes next to any information that you want to be replaced on the iPhone with information from the computer. If you don’t check a check box, its information will be merged with that information on the iPhone instead.
  22. Click Apply. A sync is performed, and the information you selected is moved onto the iPhone.

    Each time you sync the iPhone (this happens automatically when you connect the iPhone to your Mac or when you sync over a Wi-Fi network using the iPhone’s Sync command), any updated information included in the sync settings on the computer is moved to the iPhone, and updated information on the iPhone is moved onto the computer.

Using iTunes to Sync Information on Windows PCs

You use iTunes to sync information on a Windows PC with an iPhone by performing the following steps.

  1. Connect the iPhone to your computer.
  2. Select the iPhone on the Source list.
  3. Click the Info tab.
  4. To sync your contacts, check Sync Contacts with and choose the source of contact information with which you want to sync on the drop-down list. The options are Outlook, Google Contacts, Windows Address Book, or Yahoo! Address Book. If you choose Yahoo! or Google, log into your account at the prompt. If you don’t want to sync contact information stored on your computer (such as if you use iCloud), skip to step 8.
  5. To sync all contact information, click All contacts and skip to step 8.

  6. If you organize your contact information in groups and want to move only specific ones onto the iPhone, click Selected groups.
  7. Check the check box next to each group you want to move into the iPhone. If you leave a group’s check box unchecked, it will be ignored during the sync process.
  8. If you want contacts you create on the iPhone to be moved into a specific contact group when you sync, check the Add contacts created outside of groups on this iPhone to check box and select the group on the pop-up menu. If you don’t want them placed into a specific group, leave the check box unchecked.

  9. Scroll down until you see the Calendars section.
  10. Check Sync Calendars with and choose the calendar application that contains the calendars you want to sync; if you don’t want to sync calendar information (such as if you use iCloud), skip to step 15.
  11. If you want all the calendars you access in the application you selected to be synced on the iPhone, click the All calendars radio button and skip to step 14.
  12. If you want only selected calendars to move onto the iPhone, click the Selected calendars radio button.
  13. Check the check box next to each calendar that you want to sync on the iPhone.
  14. If you want to prevent older events from syncing, check the Do not sync events older than check box and enter the number of days after which events should not be included in the sync in the box.

  15. Scroll down until you see the Mail Accounts section.
  16. Check Sync Mail Accounts from if you want to configure email accounts configured on your computer on the iPhone; skip to step 19 if you don’t want them configured (such as if you use iCloud or Exchange email accounts).
  17. Select the email application containing the accounts you want to sync on the drop-down list.
  18. Check the check box for each account you want to move onto iPhone.
  19. Check the Sync bookmarks with check box if you want to move your bookmarks so you can use them with the iPhone’s web browser; if you don’t want this, skip to step 21.
  20. Select Safari or Internet Explorer on the drop-down list to choose the browser containing the bookmarks you want to sync.
  21. If you want any notes you create with the iPhone’s Notes app to be moved onto the computer and notes you create on the computer to be moved onto the iPhone, check the Sync notes with check box and select the application where the synced notes should be stored on the drop-down list; if you don’t want to move your notes onto the computer, skip this step.

  22. Scroll down to the Advanced section.
  23. Check the check boxes next to any information that you want to replace on the iPhone with information from the computer. If you don’t check a check box, that information will be merged with the information on the iPhone instead.
  24. Click Apply. A sync is performed, and the information you selected is moved onto the iPhone.

    Each time you sync the iPhone (automatically when you connect the iPhone to your computer), any updated information included in the sync settings on the computer is moved to the iPhone, and updated information on the iPhone is moved onto the computer.

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