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when syncing my contacts between my iPhone and itunes/gmail, although i'm warned about how many contacts are going to be added/modified/removed, there's no way for me to know what is actually going on. So this is useless.

I'm currently annoyed by the fact that syncing with itunes will contanstantly remove contact photos from my iphone.

What methods of sync will preserve contact photos and work with google's cloud services?

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

The best way is to stop syncing contacts via iTunes and do it all over the air:

  1. On your Mac: go to (or Address if you're not on ML) > Preferences. Under Accounts tab, tick the checkbox "Synchronize with Google" and add your gmail info.
  2. On your iPhone: setup a Google Exchange account in Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendards. Google has a good guide for that.

After that all your contacts are synced over the air and iTunes will stop syncing those when you attach your iPhone.

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Thank you for the Google Exchange tip. – Benoît Aug 12 '12 at 10:43

Google has made it easier to do this by implementing CardDAV for iOS5+.

Here's the link:

For iOS 6 and prior: Basically, rather than setting up a Google Exchange account as described in kremalicious's step 2, you'll do this:

  1. Mail, Contacts, Calendars >>
  2. Add Account... >>
  3. Other >>
  4. Contacts: Add CardDAV Account
  5. Server =; user name = [fullEmail]; pw = [gmailPw]; desc = [optional].

It worked great for me on an iPhone5 with iOS 6.1.2.

For iOS 7: Check the link above. It's even easier now. Just add a Google account, then turn on contacts.

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