We’ve been working with Apple engineering over the weekend and have come to determine this: even though Address Book doesn’t properly show your GCS preference as a saved option, it’s still syncing your contacts via iSync in the background. To verify that, change a contact, press the sync button in your menu bar and verify the changes. Your mileage may vary — it’s still not working perfectly for us. We’ll leave the original article in tact and continue to update you once the problem has actually been fixed. Hopefully we don’t have to wait until 10.6.5.
We’ve been able to verify proper syncing between Google Contacts and Address Book 10.6.4 — but your mileage may vary. We ended up having to do a little extra work: deleting the SyncServices folder found in User/Library/Application Support/ ended up fixing some of our current problems. Even though the preference doesn’t show up in address book, it’s still working in the background. Obviously, this isn’t the ideal solution, but we’ll take what we can get for the time being.
With the Snow Leopard update (10.6.4) that Apple pushed out earlier this week, they released a problem that not many people have yet to realize: Google Contact Sync (GCS) is broken. I actually stumbled upon this information when working with a client earlier this week and set time aside to find a solution. Once updated to 10.6.4, you can still go into the Address Book preferences panel and enable GCS but it won’t actually save that preference. If you quit Address Book, open it again and travel to the preferences, you’ll notice that your GCS settings have been removed.
I’ve verified this a few different ways. The first was a brand new Snow Leopard installation. I downloaded the 10.6.4 update right away, installed it and tried to set up GCS… it wouldn’t save the preference. After that, I made sure GCS was working on 10.6.3, installed the latest update from Apple and verified that it was broken. Ultimately, I’ve figured out that no matter what way you start, GCS will break with the 10.6.4 update.
At this point, I’m going through all of the different Address-Book-related files to see if I can force it to work again. The ever-popular plist options are already out of the question… it was the very first thing I tried. Tossing com.google.GoogleContactSync.plist didn’t even do anything. Surprised? Yeah, me too.
For those of you who are dealing with this problem, we’ll get a solution in due time… but it looks more like a core OS failure than something that will be easily remedied by the end-user. Third-party sync options are looking like a good choice if you need to be running 10.6.4. Otherwise, you can always archive and install your OS using your original system discs or a Snow Leopard retail disc… just make sure you download the 10.6.3 combo update from Apple instead of using Software Update. Another option: grab the 10.6.3 Snow Leopard retail disc that is still for sale in retail stores. Re-install the OS (don’t erase your hard drive) and you’ll be back up and running in an hour or less.
More updates to come!