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

Tutorial: Make your camera infrared sensitive.

OK,
I haven’t been very active so far this year, but I found something last week that was really interesting.  I found out that you can modify your camera so that it picks up infrared light. (NOTE: this will not work on film cameras. A similar modification can be made, but you need to use IR sensitive film for it to work.)

DISCLAIMER: this tutorial was designed for a point-and-shoot camera. If you have a DSLR that you wish to do this on, look in the external links section at the end. I AM NOT RESPONSIBLE if you destroy your camera because you don’t know how things work and break something. ALWAYS remove the battery and SD card. The only way to make your camera normal again is to put the IR filter back into the camera. If you lose the filter, this modification is irrevocable. Even as is, it is extremely difficult to reinstall the filter so if you don’t want to take the chance of permanently modifying your camera, you can buy an IR lens filter.

You probably know that humans can only see light waves between roughly 350nm and 720nm. That means we can’t see ultraviolet (UV) light, or infrared (IR) light. Cameras can see both of those, plus our visual range. On a camera, as you probably know, there is a lens, and then behind the lens there is an image sensor, either of CMOS type or CCD. What you probably don’t know, is that over the image sensor (which looks similar to a mirror) there is a red tinted piece of plastic or glass that filters infrared light so that the images look like what we see with our eyes. Let’s look at an illustration so this makes more sense:
camera internals

Now, looking at that, in order to make your camera see IR, do this!

I recommend using a magnetic tipped screwdriver because the screws are really tiny.

Remove the back of your camera. Then you should see the LCD display sitting in some sort of tray. Lift the screen out of the tray. Undo the screws that hold the tray. Now you should see a little metal plate with a couple of screws holding down down a gold colored (most likely) piece of foil material. That is the connector which transfers the image information to the display and SD card. After undoing the screws, carefully lift up one side of the connector. In the middle you should see something that looks like a small mirror with a piece of red polarized glass over it. Remove the red glass, and be sure to get all of the rubber seals that hold it on (on most cameras there are one or two). SAVE THE GLASS because if you ever want to make it normal again you have to have that. Put your camera back together, and you should have IR or near IR photography.

IR photos require a longer exposure, so if your camera normally takes a 1/60 second exposure, it will probably do about 1/20. In good lighting there will not be a noticeable difference, however.

In order to use it as night vision, you will need an IR flashlight or other IR emitter. You will not be able to see the light, but the camera can. DO NOT look into the light for more than a second or two. While you cannot see it, it is still very bright and can damage your eyes just like a bright LED flashlight can.

Thanks for visiting my site and be sure to follow! Look for infrared photographs coming later today or tomorrow!

-The Editor.

External Links:
Original instructions I found online:
http://www.ehow.com/how_5569758_build-own-night-vision-camera.html

DSLR version:
http://www.ehow.com/how_7645833_remove-ir-filter-camera.html