I want my Google contacts and my Exchange contacts to sync through my iPhone as follows:

Google contacts <--> iPhone <--> Exchange contacts

and I was looking at Google's CardDAV sync as a way to do it. http://gmailblog.blogspot.com/2012/09/a-new-way-to-sync-google-contacts.html?m=1

First, is this even possible?

What I can't understand is that after you add the CardDAV account to the iPhone your new contacts must go in that specific contacts group in order to sync. But of course they won't sync to Exchange since the Exchange contacts by definition are in their own group.

Can I do this?

1 Answer 1


I haven't had an opportunity to test this out, but I'm pretty sure that the iPhone silos contacts on a per-account basis. When you set up a CardDAV or Exchange account in Settings, it's unique from anything else. The contacts don't intermingle, beyond showing up in the same app.

You can think of it like having two different email accounts that your phone checks. You can access both, they'll even show up in a unified inbox, but emails in a folder on one account don't get synced to a folder on the other account.

Off the top of my head, to synchronize the two accounts, you'd probably need an app running on a computer that could synchronize between the two, and then connect your phone to either the CardDAV or Exchange server as the canonical version.

  • Based on things I've read since posting I've unfortunately come to the conclusion that what you said is true. And I agree with you - I'll have to manage the sync external to the iPhone.
    – Matthew
    Commented Dec 19, 2012 at 22:36

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