Is Apple being mean to Google, or Google being sloppy?

For a long time (since I ended my subscription) I’ve been using Google/GMail as the main repository for address book data. It worked quite well for some months, but the last 3-4 months I’ve been having quite a few issues.

First I tested Cobook (an app in Mac App Store), it fetches pictures etc. from Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and so on. Bad idea, because it pulled the birthdays of all my Facebook contacts. It also created all the contacts locally that I had on Facebook, but not locally. (Not very helpful, as most of those doesn’t have anything listed on their profile, except name and picture, besides, I don’t need all my FB friends in Contacts on my Mac and iPhone.) This last issue might have been my bad. Maybe there also was an option back then (in the beta stages of Cobook) to prevent it from creating new contacts. But anyways, the birthdays is also a deal breaker, as I don’t want all those birthdays in there -- I want only the important ones! Happy

Anyways, after this, I’ve started to get warnings every now and the that 300 contacts or something has changed. If I review the changes, sometimes it removes profile pictures, or add pictures, or job titles and sometimes I can’t spot the difference. This massive sync changes/conflicts shows up sometimes every day, sometimes every other week. I stopped using Cobook a long time ago, so that’s not the issue.

The issue seems to be related to how Apple Address Book/Contacts communicate with Google. Either Google is changing their API’s too frequently, or Apple is changing something on their side – I don’t know. I just know it doesn’t work very well. (Sometimes I’ve lost contacts on the iPhone. The contact is still there in Google Contacts, but somehow field names or something has changed, so all I see is the name and maybe picture.)

I’m switching back to storing contacts in iCloud (now that it’s free as in beer). That will hopefully also help me get less duplicate address fields formatted differently.

Optimally, I would actually like to have my contacts on Google, as I prefer GMail for lots of my emailing.