How to use Google Contacts with your iPad

Sync Google  Contacts to the iPad

If you're using an Android device then your Contacts, Calendar and mail will likely be with Google - GMAIL, Google Calendar and Google Contacts. However, Apple's iPad Calendar and Contacts apps do  not talk to Google's apps.  However, there is a way to use your Google Calendar and Contacts information on your iPad and keep  that information synchronised.

Sync your Google Contacts

If you use Google Contacts, you can still use them on your iPad. This involves turning on a simple setting in the mail settings. Each time you change or add a Contact,  the information will be synchronised between your iPad and your Google Contacts. 

Setup the iPad Contacts Settings

You need to create an account for your Google account on the iPad. Generally, you have a GMAIL account. Adding this account to your iPad will allow you to receive your Gmail, sync your Contacts, Calendar and Google Notes.

1.     Open the Settings app on your iPad.

2.     Select Mail, Contacts, Calendars.

3.     Select Add Account.

4.     Select Google.

Add your GMAIL account settings

Add your GMAIL account settings

5.     Fill out your account information in the following fields:

  • Name: Enter your name
  • User Name: Enter your full Google Account email address. eg
  • Password: Your Google Account password. (If you’ve enabled 2 Step verification, you’ll need to generate and enter an application specific password.)
  • Description: Enter a description of the account (e.g. Personal Contacts).

6.  Select Next at the top of your screen.

7.   Make sure that the "Contacts" option is turned ON. The switch should be green.

8.     Select Save at the top of your screen.

After you've completed setup, open the Contacts app on your device, and syncing will automatically begin. It takes a few seconds.

Turn Contacts ON

Turn Contacts ON

Set Google Contacts as your default account on your iOS device

If you have set up iCloud,  and syncing contacts from Google, or already have contacts stored on the device, you will need to select a Default Account. If you don't do this, any new contacts you add directly into your iPad will not appear in your Google Contacts.

Set your default account

  1. Open the Settings app on your device.
  2. Select Mail, Contacts, Calendars and scroll down to the Contacts section. You will only see the Default Account option if you're syncing more than one account. 
  3. Select Default Account.
  4. Select your Google contacts account. 
  5. Your account will be labelled with the description you gave it in the Description field.
Tap: Default Account and select your preferred account. In this case, it's Gmail.

Tap: Default Account and select your preferred account. In this case, it's Gmail.

Any change to a contact made on either the iPad or in Google Contacts will immediately be reflected in each device.


New and existing contacts on the iPad

New contacts created directly on your iOS device (iPad) will be added to your default account.

Add New Contacts into Google Contacts

Add New Contacts into Google Contacts

Any existing contacts on the iPad should be imported into Google Contacts.  If your contacts are stored on an Apple computer, you can transfer your contacts using vCard files. If your contacts are stored with another provider, first export your contacts and then import your contacts into Gmail.

You can also manually add a contact from your Google Contacts page.




iCloud Contacts

** If you use Google contacts on your iPad, iCloud will no longer keep your contact information synchronised. Any existing contacts  will remain in iCloud but no changes will occur. If you want to use iCloud for your Contacts, then you need to use the iPad's Contacts.

Remember: Google is synchronising your contacts and calendar information in its Cloud. You don't need to duplicate the process by using iCloud.

Turn off Contacts and Calendars if you are using Google

Turn off Contacts and Calendars if you are using Google

Updating your contacts on the iPad

Any change you make to your Contacts on the iPad will be reflected in the Google Contacts.