Easily transfer contacts to your new cell phone

Source From: CNET

HELP! MY CONTACTS ARE TRAPPED IN MY PHONE! Talk about a nightmare. Just after you get all excited over the purchase of a new phone, you realize that your contact info is trapped in your dying old phone. The only way to rescue them, manually inputting hundreds of contacts using the alphanumeric keypad, no less, can be enough to test even the most patient. You think about how much effort this will require and say to yourself, "Did I really need a new phone?"

Well, of course you did, and you can stop imagining this doomsday scenario.

Note: If both your old and new phones use a SIM card on which you've stored your contact information, you can stop reading right now and sleep soundly; you can just transfer your SIM card to the new phone.

In fact, there are a few different happy endings to this nightmare.
1. Make your carrier work for you

We know, it's a novel concept. But if you purchase a new phone through and your phone doesn't use a SIM card, you can go to one of your carrier's retail outlets and have a customer service agent transfer your contacts from your old phone to your new one. It may cost you, however, depending on your carrier.

2. Use syncing software

If for some reason your provider is unable to transfer your address book to the new phone, don't give in to that syncing feeling. You can purchase cables and data synchronization software that will do the trick. Your carrier or the phone's manufacturer may provide such tools for your handset. Otherwise, several third-party options are available.

FutureDial offers cables ($30 to $35) for a wide range of cell phones, and its SnapSync software ($30) automatically synchronizes contact information between your phone and Outlook or Outlook Express. But in this case, you'll probably need separate cables for both your old and new phones. DataPilot's Universal Kit ($80) and Mobile Action's Handset Manager (around $30), however, include cell phone sync software and connectors to support most popular cell phone brands, including Nokia. Check with the company to be sure your phones are supported. For step-by-step directions on using syncing software, see our Weekend Project.

If you use an Apple Macintosh and a GPRS Bluetooth-enabled phone, Apple's iSync will synchronize your contacts, appointments, and events. iSync is available as a free download from Apple.

3. Use online tools

Verizon Wireless recently introduced a new online service that eliminates the pain of moving your contact information. The Backup Assistant lets you store your address book online, so your contact information is readily available in case you purchase a new phone. This also is a good option in case your cell phone is lost or stolen. Backup Assistant is available at Verizon's Get It Now online store.

A start-up named Vazu offers a free tool that lets you upload contact information from your desktop to your cell phone without buying extra cables.

For $5 a month, Nextel offers an online service that lets you store up to 2,000 contacts with multiple addresses and phone numbers. You can import contact information to the site from Outlook, Excel, or your Nextel phone. Once all the information you need is online, you can transfer contacts to your new phone with ease.

An alternative comes from a start-up company called Vazu. It offers a free tool called Vazu Contacts, which lets you upload contact information from Outlook, Outlook Express, Apple Mail, or Novell Evolution directly to your Nokia or Sony Ericsson mobile phone. You receive contact information as a business card, which you can immediately add to your address book. Currently, Vazu Contacts works only on GSM networks, so AT&T Wireless, Cingular, and T-Mobile customers with supported phones can enjoy the service. The company says it is exploring other networks and phone models.

4. Wireless connectivity

If both your old and new phones have Bluetooth or an infrared port, you may be able to transfer contacts wirelessly. Not all carriers support Bluetooth, however, so be sure to check if yours does. Alternatively, you can transfer files on a memory card.

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