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The situation:
Last week i exported all contacts from my macbook to my gmail-account to have all my contacts at one place (gmail). Everything worked fine, i had all my contacts there so i decided to delete all contacts on my mac and my iphone and set up the iphone to synchronize contacts with gmail (i already had my mailaccount linked, so this was just setting a checkbox for "contacts").

The problem:
some of my contacts have a lot of datasets. my best friend, for example, has:

  • 6 mail-addresses (work, other work, gmail, gmx, yahoo and msn)*
  • 2 post-addresses (homeland and the place he studies)
  • 5 phone-numbers (work, landline for both post adresses, 2 mobile-phone numbers)
  • 3 Homepages (facebook-profile, google+-profile, his blog)

I know this is some kind of extreme example, but there are some more that have 2 post address or more than 3 phone-numbers...
When synchronizing my contacts to the iphone, those "big" contacts don't get there completely. lets take the above axample again. on my iphone this contact only has:

  • 3 mail-addresses
  • 1 post address
  • 4 phone-numbers
  • 1 homepage

is there any way i could change this behaviour to get the complete data synchronized? has anybody else had the same problems and knows the solution? i don't think this problem is caused by a restriction of the iphone, as i can manually add as much datasets as i want to (so theres no only-1-post-adress-per-contact-limit or something like that).

Additional information:

  • i already tried to set up all that gmail-sync-stuff from scratch without success
  • i don't have problems with synchronizing other data like mails or calendar-data
  • i don't have contact on my macbook anymore (no synced and no directly maintained), so this is left out from the question (i just mentioned it to clearify how i got my contacts to gmail)

If you need any more information to answer this, please don't hesitate to ask. I could provide screenshots as soon as i'm at home if this is neccessary.

PS:
*i know, having 6 mail-adresses sounds crazy...

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3 Answers

up vote 3 down vote accepted
+25

Check out googe's note on syncing limitation

Limited Contact Information. The iOS device can synchronize up to 3 email addresses. Phone number synchronization is limited to 2 Home numbers, 1 Home Fax, 1 Mobile, 1 Pager, 3 Work (one will be labeled 'Company Main') and one Work Fax number.

From http://www.google.com/support/mobile/bin/answer.py?answer=139635

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One underlying issue seems to be that iPhone phone number labels can evidently only come from a predetermined list, while Gmail contact phone number labels can be anything you like. So all those phone numbers with custom labels are not sync'ed. For my contacts that have two residences and hence two "home" numbers, iPhone does seem to offer any way to record which number is which.

It would be more helpful if Sync could at least move the phone numbers and mark them "other" or something so that the user is tipped off that data has been lost. I have to keep going back to my Gmail to find out whether there are any missing phone numbers.

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I had the same problem, but the solution was not the structure of the contacts deatails but an incomplete synchronization process.

I just had 25% of all my default "my contacts" contacts synced to my iphone. found a solution here: http://www.lolr.de/2013/02/04/fix-incomplete-gmail-contacts-sync-iphone/

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