How To Convert iCloud (iPhone, iOS, etc) Contacts to Google Sheets/Excel

Hey everyone! It’s been a while, I know. Life has been busy lately and I’ve been slammed with a lot of things to do, and unfortunately Handz Studioz has needed to become a back burner project. That said, I have some useful information for you all today, and this was just so good that I couldn’t keep it to myself.

Here’s a bit of back story: about a month and a half ago, my laptop (which I use for everything: photo/video, writing, school…the whole nine yards) died. We’re talking six feet under, bit the dust type of dead. Due to some issues (which I won’t get into) with the company which I purchased my new laptop from, I was without a PC for a total of about four weeks. Thus, I managed everything from my iPhone, which was very difficult, to say the least.

One of the main issues that I ran into when setting up my new PC was integrating my contacts, for two primary reasons:

  1. My old laptop is quite dead. It doesn’t like to boot :( That makes importing contacts from the old laptop fairly difficult, and I didn’t want to take apart the machine to get a separate HDD reader.
  2. I also gained new contacts in the month that I was without a computer. I attended multiple conferences during that time, and met some great people. So at this point, I’ve got old contacts on my old laptop, as well as new contacts on my phone that aren’t on the old laptop.

The saving grace of the whole issue was that all the contacts that were on my laptop were also stored on my phone and in iCloud, so I had access to all my contacts on my phone. Thus, I needed to transfer my contacts from iCloud onto my new PC. The best way to perform this operation was, in my mind, to convert those contacts into a spreadsheet. So how do we do this? I’m glad you asked. (Please note that, in order to maintain my contacts’ privacy, I have redacted portions of the following screenshots.)

Start by accessing your contacts in iCloud. Go to http://icloud.com/ and click on “Contacts”, or use this direct link: http://icloud.com/#contacts/ You may be prompted to log in if you haven’t visited the site recently. You can see the full size images by clicking on these thumbnails.
iCloud Contacts

Next, click on the Settings toggle in the bottom left corner, and click Select All.
Select All Contacts

Once all your contacts are selected, click Export vCard.
Export vCard File

This will create a .vcf document containing all your contacts; this is commonly referred to as a contact card. Think of .vcf like a compressed text document. Just save this file to your desktop.
Save VCF File

At this point, you’ve downloaded a .vcf file, AKA contact card, which is very useful in its own right. This .vcf file can be imported into your Windows Contacts natively on your PC, so that you’ll have them for use in your address book. This is a pretty straightforward process: just open the .vcf file and follow the prompts. However, I wanted to put all my contacts into a spreadsheet, and that’s what this tutorial is all about, so we aren’t quite done yet. vCard files cannot be read by Excel/Google Sheets, so we need to convert the file into a readable format. That format is .csv, or Comma Separated Values. We’ll use an online converter for this; a quick Google search will yield a wide selection of results, but this converter is the one I prefer to use: http://labs.brotherli.ch/vcfconvert/

It’s imperative that you input the correct settings before converting, so pay close attention here. Click “Choose File”, and once you’ve uploaded the .vcf file, set Format to “CSV”, change the dropdown menu beside Format to “Comma”, and make sure the “Add Header Line” box is ticked. Set Encoding to “Unicode (UTF-8)”, and leave Filter and Modifications alone. See the screenshot below for reference.
Convert VCF to CSV

Download the resulting .csv file to your PC. This file can be opened directly in Microsoft Excel, edited, and saved as a .xlxs spreadsheet file. In order to open this in Google Sheets, follow these instructions: upload the file to your Google Drive, and then open the file. A preview window will open, and you’ll be able to see all your contacts in the .csv file, formatted as a spreadsheet. However, this is not a Google Sheets file, and you can’t edit it. To remedy this, click on “Open with Google Sheets” at the top of the screen.
CSV File In Google Drive

This will open a new tab in your browser, with all your contacts in a Google Sheets document. You can edit this, export it, or do pretty much anything you like with it. Sometimes it’s helpful to be able to see all your contacts on a page, and that’s exactly what this allows you to do.
Contacts In Google Sheets File

If you found this tutorial helpful, let us know by dropping a comment down below! Please be sure to share this with your contacts (see what I did there :) ) who might find it helpful too. Thanks for reading! We look forward to hearing from you. If you so desire, you can sign up for email notifications every time we write a new post. Your contact info (see what I did there…again :) ) will not be published.

– The Editor

iCloud Drive — Apple’s “Dropbox-Killer”

iCloud Drive

With iOS 8 came a huge update to iCloud. Before, iCloud was just this service up on the web where you could store files and then pull them down for use. In the update, Apple added iCloud Drive, commonly referred to as the “Dropbox-killer.” It’s basically Apple’s version of Google Drive. Apple currently has a version set up for all of its iDevices (obviously) running iOS 8, Windows machines (7 or later), and Macs (as long as they’re running OS X Yosemite).

Today we’re going to do an analysis of iCloud Drive; we’ll also compare it to Google Drive and Dropbox. Is it really a “Dropbox-killer” or will Dropbox survive?

iCloud Drive looks like a great service. I personally don’t use iCloud, but I may start now that Drive is out. There are a few problems with iCloud Drive, however. First, you only get 5 free GB of space. Google Drive gives you 15 GB of free space. Dropbox, however, only gives 2 GB — but there’s a catch. With Dropbox you can get up to 16 GB of free space by referring friends, something that Apple doesn’t offer. So Apple didn’t beat Google with the free space, and it sort of killed Dropbox. Yes, you can get more space in Dropbox eventually, but to start, iCloud wins here against Dropbox.

Now let’s look at pricing. The pricing options options for iCloud Drive aren’t awful, but they just can’t compare with Google. Look at the following comparison of pricing. Google wins here in terms of storage for the price.

  • iCloud: $0.99/month for 20 GB
  • Google: $1.99/month for 100 GB
  • iCloud: $3.99/month for 200 GB
  • Google: $9.99/month for 1 TB
  • iCloud: $9.99/month for 500 GB
  • Google: $99.99/month for 10 TB
  • iCloud: $19.99/month for 1 TB
  • Google: $299.99/month for 20 TB
  • Google: $399.99/month for 30 TB

We see here that Google wins in terms of storage for price, but Google’s storage plans aren’t quite as user friendly as Apple’s are. I would probably only need 20 GB, so I might go with Google’s free (15 GB) plan. Apple’s plan costs $0.99 for 20 GB, then Google charges a dollar more for 5x as much (100 GB) storage. Sorry Apple.

Then things start to lean in Apple’s favor. Whereas Google jumps straight to 1 TB for $9.99 (few users need this much), iCloud goes to 200 GB for $3.99, a much more affordable price per year. Then Google jumps to 10 TB for $99.99/month! The problem here is that Google’s prices are better up to 1 TB, but then it jumps so high that the user would be paying A LOT for their storage. Ultimately, I probably would go with Google simply because it’s the same price for 1 TB as it is for Apple’s 500 GB.

How does Dropbox compare? Not very well. You have to upgrade to a Pro plan and subscribe to monthly or yearly (depending on how you would like to pay) Pro 1 TB plan. The Pro plan costs $9.99/month or $99/year, so it’s comparable to Google Drive.

Apple has a big marketing slogan for iCloud Drive, “Edits you make on one device appear on all of them.” What do we have to say about this? Big deal. Not! (More tactful comments, right?) Apple says “all of your devices,” but what about accessibility on Android platforms? That’s where Dropbox and Google kind of kill Apple. You can get Dropbox and Google Drive on all devices, but iCloud is only available for Apple devices. That’s not very helpful. Dropbox and Google Drive win here.

So is iCloud Drive a Dropbox-killer? Not currently. Is it better than Google Drive? Not currently. As Apple updates iCloud Drive (as I’m sure they will), and more pricing and storage options become available, iCloud Drive could become real competition for Google. Is iCloud Drive competition now? Sort of. It provides some competition due to the sheer number of Apple users, but on a large scale it simply doesn’t compare right now.

If you enjoyed this post, please like and follow! Please share it with others in your community you think would find it interesting!

-The Editor

External Links:
https://www.apple.com/icloud/
https://www.apple.com/ios/whats-new/icloud-drive/
http://www.apple.com/icloud/icloud-drive/?cid=wwa-us-kwg-features-com
https://support.google.com/drive/answer/2375123?hl=en
https://www.dropbox.com/pro