iPhone and iPad Tips of the Week - Mobile Safari and Mail

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I would really recommend this method of sharing/saving important contacts, particularly if you want to be sure the contact imports as it exported. That way, you're just going iPhone to iPhone, hopefully.

When you start getting third-party apps involved in touching these delicate VCF files... God help you. Rather, if you're using Windows -- God help you.

Anything Windows related will butcher these things beyond repair, be it the Windows 7 native "Windows Contacts", Outlook, Windows Live Mail, Address Book... I can guarantee you that if your VCF is allowed to pass through any of these, you will end up with anywhere from a missing contact photo, to complete loss of total fields or sets of fields... any custom fields you have used to help your organization out; destroyed, mangled, shredded. While Apple has really loosened up on its actual data definition inside of VCF's (becoming more akin to XML, or something vaguely like it) -- a GOOD thing, IMO -- [edit: I realize that Apple doesn't control the vCard standards, but it does adopt and adapt as the standards grow and become more robust] -- By the standard/revision used by Microsoft, it looks like it's v1 or v2 or something archaic based on current revisions (v4?) which allows extensible and user-created definitions. Outlook at cronies have just some odd ways of dealing with newer vCards.

Last time I checked, you were only allowed up to two "mobile" phone number definitions... if you needed more than that, you'd have to list it under something like "pager" or "radio" (words which, in themselves... are ironic commentary on how dated all of it is).

Can we get rid of the "pager" and add another mobile phone field, or something? Nobody has a pager anymore. Nobody has had a pager for the better part of a decade? Two?

Another example of crap design -- in the "Personal" tab of a vCard in Windows, if I happen to go completely insane and run across the idea that someone might have as many as THREE emails? One of those 3 might not be work. So, intuitively, since it's not work, and I have no more "personal" email slots available (I used all 1 up)... I put one of them in the "other email" field... which automatically copies and populates it into the Business tab! Agh! It's not a business email! It doesn't belong mixed in there!

Please, Microsoft... take a hint from Apple and upgrade your vCard code to at least v3 or something. We've got this thing called "progression" that we're trying to keep active... restricting us to fields like pager, radio, main, etc. Enough.

Do you know why I'm so passionate about this otherwise little "quirk" of a behavior? Since my MobileMe account is expiring, and I can't/don't know what to do about renewal, I had to port all of my MobileMe stuff over to Google, etc, today. If I had OS X and it's basic iCal, Address Book, utils... it would have been a 2 minute job. Instead, it turned into a half a day nightmare to try and cross the threshold of providers using Windows. All condolences accepted and needed. Why do I hang out on Mac pages if I don't even own one? One word, Timmy... it's a little thing called "hope". Maybe one day I'll rise above this "7" OS and make it to a higher plain... one inhabited by various species of wild cats... ah yes. the dream. the poor man's dream. Except I'm about so tired of this, the term "Hackintosh" is coming to mind a lot more lately. I'd gladly buy a copy of Lion if I could get it to run on my box.

Why? Because it's not... hundreds and hundreds of dollars every time I actually get something updated. Dare I make it out of an upgrade for under 150 frogskins? Blasphemy!

Sorry for my uncontrolled rant. Just a testament, a real-world PITA experience in trying to get something accomplished in Windows world. I'm still tense from it all, and I still will probably end up having to manually re-enter a lot of stuff.

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