How do I move contacts to my Sailfish OS device, to the People app?

Jolla Care -

 

 

There are several ways to transfer contacts to the People app of your Sailfish OS phone. In this article, we aim to detail the most common methods and provide a few "advanced" methods as well.

 

 

 

 

CONTENTS

1 Sailfish has an automatic import utility

2 Importing from SIM-card

3 Importing from Micro SD card

4 Synchronizing from web services (Google, Exchange, etc.)
4.1 Synchronize from Google
4.2 Synchronizing from Mail for Exchange service (viewable with Outlook)

5 Sending a contact file over email

6 Importing from another phone
6.1 Over USB
6.2 Over Bluetooth

7 Known issue with VCF -imported contacts

 

 

 



1 Sailfish has an automatic import utility

On Sailfish phones, you can see the options for importing contacts on the menu page "Settings > Apps > People" in section "Import contacts" (see the picture below). The import utility is based on using standardized vCard files (also, "VCF files" or *.vcf). The standard structure of those files makes it possible to process the contact data in the correct way and save them to the Sailfish contacts database.

 

 

Import_menu.png

Picture 1: Menu page "Settings > Apps > People"



2 Importing from SIM card

  1. Insert the SIM card having your contacts saved on it to your Sailfish phone.
  2. Turn the phone on and enter the SIM/PIN code if requested.
  3. Go "Settings > Apps > People": tap on “SIM card” under Import contacts.
    NOTE:  on dual SIM phones, you may see two items: "From SIM1|<operator>" and "From SIM2|<operator>"
  4. Transfer starts and completes in a few seconds.
  5. Confirmation of importing the contacts successfully from the file appears.
  6. Tap on “View all contacts” to launch the People app and to view your contacts.

Note: These contacts are called local contacts as they will not be synchronised to any servers. They can be edited on the phone but they remain local.

 



3 Importing from micro-SD card

  1. Transfer the VCF file containing your contacts onto your SD card. Feel free to place the file in any folder on the card.
  2. Make sure the SD card is inserted in your Sailfish phone and turn the phone on.
  3. Go to "Settings > Apps > People": tap on “From contact file” under Import contacts.
    NOTE:  on dual SIM phones, you may see two items: "From SIM1|<operator>" and "From SIM2|<operator>"
  4. Tap the VCF file in question. Transfer starts and completes in a few seconds.
  5. Confirmation of successfully importing the contacts from the file appears.
  6. Tap on “View all contacts” to launch the People app and to view your contacts.

 

Note: These contacts are called local contacts as they will not be synchronised to any servers. They can be edited on the phone but they remain local.

Note: If you have plenty of contact files in the SD card then it is best to concatenate them to one vCard file before transferring them to the phone. See the chapter “Over USB below” for advice.



4 Synchronizing from web services (Google, Exchange, etc.)

Sailfish OS supports many common services from which you can synchronise your contacts into your phone, such as Google, Exchange and the like.

Add the service you use by selecting Settings > Accounts and tap "Add account". Insert your credentials and sign up.

Below there are detailed descriptions of setting up those accounts.



4.1 Synchronizing from Google

  1. Make sure you have a working Internet connection.
  2. Add your Google account to your Sailfish OS device in "Settings > Account > Add account".
  3. Tap on Google and proceed as requested.
  4. Under "Contacts > Sync", select "Two-way" if you want a complete synchronisation of your contacts between the phone and the server (so, the changes to the contacts made on the phone will be uploaded to the server). If you only want to download the contacts to the phone, select "To device only".
  5. In the final view, you will be asked to choose the services you want, including details related to the synchronisation frequency (a shared schedule for emails, calendar and contacts).
  6. Save changes by flicking the display to the right.

Contacts and other selected items will be copied from Google to the phone immediately, provided that the Internet connection works.

Related article: Step-by-Step: Setting up a Google Account

 



4.2 Synchronizing from Mail for Exchange service (viewable with Outlook)

  1. Make sure you have a working Internet connection.
  2. To add your Microsoft Exchange account to the Sailfish OS device go to "Settings > Accounts > Add account".
  3. Tap on Microsoft Exchange, and proceed as requested. If you need detailed instructions for this, read this.
  4. Under "Contacts > Sync", select "Two-way" if you want a complete synchronisation of your contacts between the phone and the server (so, the changes to the contacts made on the phone will be uploaded to the server). If you only want to download the contacts to the phone, select "To device only".
  5. In the final view, you will be asked to choose the services you want, including details related to the synchronisation frequency (a shared schedule for emails, calendar and contacts).
  6. Save changes by flicking the display to the right.
  7. Contacts will be copied from Exchange to the phone starting immediately, provided that the Internet connection works.
  8. The next time, contacts are synchronised to the phone according to the email synchronization schedule (see the settings of the Exchange account).
  9. To force a sync, go to "Settings > Accounts > Exchange" and select "Sync" from the pulley menu above.

Related article: How do I set up an Exchange account on my Sailfish OS device?.



5 Sending a contact file over email

  1. Make sure you have a working email account and app on the Other phone.
  2. Open the phonebook of the Other phone.
  3. Select all contacts or the contacts you want to send (move). How to do this in practice may vary. Consult the manual of the Other phone.
    NOTE: If also the Other phone happens to be a Sailfish phone, then the following applies:
    - open People app
    - pull down "Select contacts"
    - tap all contacts you want to select (so that their background colour gets brighter), or pull the option "Select all" down
  4. On the Other phone, use the share utility to send the contacts. Select the email to be used as the transport tool. This should make a new email message open up, having the selected contacts attached as one VCF file. This method works on Sailfish OS and on Android (at least on versions 9, 10, 11).
  5. Send the email message to your email account enabled on the Sailfish phone (the target phone).
  6. On your Sailfish phone, receive and open the mail message using your email app.

    Email-with-vcf.png Screenshot_20211012_002.png  Contacts-imported.png
  7. Tap the attached vCard (.vcf) file in the message to download it.
  8. Tap "People" on the "Open file" dialogue. This will make the People app to import the contacts file.
  9. Confirmation of successfully importing the contacts from the file appears.
  10. Tap on “View all contacts” to launch the People application and to view your contacts.

Note: These contacts are called local contacts as they will not be synchronised to any servers. They can be edited on the phone but they remain local.

 



6 Importing from another phone



6.1 Over USB

  1. Using the utilities in the other phone (which may vary or be missing), export your contacts to a memory card (or to phone memory). Usually, this utility can be found in the Phonebook.
  2. Depending on the phone, they might be exported as individual vCard (.vcf) files to a directory, one contact in one file, but more likely they are exported to one vCard (.vcf) file containing all contacts. The current Sailfish and Android phones merge all selected contacts into one file.
  3. Connect the other phone to a PC with a USB cable.
  4. Locate the directory having the contact file on the other phone.
  5. Copy the contact file(s) to the PC – let’s assume into the file ALL.vcf. However, if your contact ts are in individual files you will need to process them at step #7.
  6. Disconnect the phone from the PC.
  7. If the contacts are already in one file, jump to step #8.

    If your contacts are in individual files in a directory, do the next step, i.e., concatenate the contacts to one vCard file as follows:

    A) on a Linux PC by using the Terminal application
    - go to directory MyContacts
    - cat *.vcf > ALL.vcf       (see chapter ISSUES)

    B) on Windows PC  (do this in the Windows command window which you can launch from the “Search programs and files” box by typing the command cmd)

    - go to directory MyContacts   ( e.g. cd C:/MyContacts )
    - copy *.vcf ALL.vcf

  8. At this point, you have all of your contacts packed into one file on your PC, ALL.vcf.
  9. Connect your Sailfish phone to the PC with a USB cable – select the item "Media transfer (MTP)” in the USB dialogue. Now your phone should appear by its name (e.g. "Xperia 10 II") on the File Manager of the PC. Click Mass storage under the phone.  Observe that it contains the Documents folder (and many more).
  10. Using the File Manager on the PC, copy the ALL.vcf file to the Documents folder on the phone:

    Win-phone.png

  11. Disconnect the phone from the PC once the PC has completed copying the file.
  12. On the phone, go to "Settings > Apps > People":  tap “From contact file” under Import contacts. (*)
  13. Tap ALL.vcf.  The phone imports the transferred file to phonebook People in a moment.

    VCF-file.png  Imported.png

  14. Confirmation of importing the contacts successfully from the file appears.
  15. Tap on “View all contacts” to launch the People app and to view your contacts.

Note: These contacts are called local contacts as they will not be synchronised to any servers. They can be edited on the phone but they remain local.

 

 



6.2 Over Bluetooth

  1. Do Bluetooth pairing between the Other phone and your Sailfish phone.
  2. Open the phonebook of the Other phone.
  3. Select all contacts or the contacts you want to move. How to do this in practice may vary. Consult the manual of the Other phone.
    NOTE: If also the Other phone happens to be a Sailfish phone, then the following applies:
    - open People app
    - pull down "Select contacts"
    - tap all contacts you want to select (so that their background colour gets brighter) or pull the option "Select all" down.
  4. Make the Other phone send the selected contact(s) over the Bluetooth connection to your Sailfish phone. How to do this in practice may vary but probably you should use the sharing utility. Consult the manual of the Other phone. Moving a lot of contacts (*) will work only if the Other phone is able to concatenate all contacts to one vCard (VCF) file.
    (*) This same method works for individual contacts, too, but is time-consuming if there are many of them.
    NOTE: If also the Other phone happens to be a Sailfish phone, it concatenates the contacts to one file automatically. Sailfish creates the file, let's assume it is Contacts.vcf
    Then, the following applies:
    - tap the Share button at the bottom of the display which makes the Share dialogue appear
    - tap Bluetooth on the dialogue (if there is no Bluetooth, go back to step #1 above)
    - tap the name of your Sailfish phone (to which you want to send the contacts) -- this makes the transmission start.
  5. On your Sailfish phone (the target phone), go to "Settings > System > Transfers". File Contacts.vcf appears at the top of the list. The actual location of the file is in the Documents folder but that is not relevant here.

    Transfers.png

  6. Tap Contacts.vcf.  Your phone will import the contacts now from the file to the People app.
  7. Confirmation of successfully importing the contacts from the file appears.
  8. Tap on “View all contacts” to launch the People app and to view your contacts.

 

 



7 Known issue with VCF -imported contacts

Sometimes the catenation of VCF files may produce a file where the line feed characters are missing. Hence the file has lines like "END:VCARDBEGIN:VCARD". Sailfish OS cannot import a file like this having an incorrect syntax.

In such a case, one way to avoid the problem would be to do the catenation with Windows 10 which has turned out to create the VCF file correctly.

 

 

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