Want to sync your iPhone contacts with Hotmail, Outlook Express, and more? Try Plaxo

In part three of his review of the iPhone, Paul Thurrott notes a limitation on the iPhone’s online syncing:

"Notice any limitations here? First and most obviously, Yahoo! is the only Web-based email/contacts store supported: If you use Hotmail, Gmail, AOL, or any other Web-based email service, you cannot sync between contacts stored there and the iPhone. This is a glaring functional lapse that the early Mac-using iPhone reviewers neatly skipped over as they stumbled all over themselves trying to complement think of new superlatives. Heck, Apple doesn’t even offer a way to export contacts from these locations in order to get them into the iPhone."

However, there’s a way around this: Use Plaxo, the online service which was set up to allow easy update of contact information and which is gradually becoming a "lingua franca" for contact and calendar information on the web.

Plaxo currently allows you to synchronise the following services and applications for contacts and/or calendar:

  • Outlook
  • iCal/Address Book (Mac)
  • Yahoo!
  • Hotmail
  • Outlook Express
  • Thunderbird (Mac, Windows, and Linux)
  • AOL/AIM
  • LinkedIn
  • Windows Mail

Google Mail/Gmail was supported, but recently broke – and the guys at Plaxo are working on getting it up and running again soon.

Plus, you get the other benefits of Plaxo: if any of your contacts are also Plaxo users, when the update their contact information it’s automatically updated in your address book too.

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  • S

    Just a side note, you can do a two-step sync from plaxo and the iphone, by using Yahoo as a middle-man.

    Plaxo will sync with yahoo, and itunes/iphone will sync with yahoo. Plaxo is even kind enough to set up “scheduled” sync’ings with yahoo, so if you make an update in plaxo or the iphone, it’s usually about a half-day (depending on how often you sync) before things show up everywhere.

    Been working great for me.