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Last Tango in iPhone for Contacts database


I have a friend in Greece who runs a small business and keeps his hundreds of contacts on his iPhone 5. He’s smart, so he has iCloud backup switched on and had peace of mind. He has no other Apple devices but occasionally synchronises the phone with iTunes in his Windows computer. All well and good, until he gave his old iPhone 4 to a friend. This friend eventually wanted to install a free application, Tango, so he could make video calls. Unfortunately he didn’t have an Apple ID.

So, simply to enable the installation of Tango, my canny business acquaintance handed over his Apple ID without thinking of the potential complications. His friend successfully downloaded Tango but then discovered his phone had loads of unwanted contacts. So he went ahead and deleted them.

A few minutes later the businessman discovered all his contacts has disappeared from own phone. This turned out to be the very last Tango for his database. He restored the iPhone from the backup but his contacts were still missing.

iCloud provides no safety belt, unlike, say, Dropbox where you can usually recover a deleted file or database. The moral of this story is never to give out your Apple ID, even to friends you think you can trust. Also, if you are selling an iPhone or iPad make sure you reset the device before letting it out of your control.

Nevertheless, the fact that you can lose your database so easily is a worry. We all rely on iCloud and few of us think about backing up the our Contacts and Calendar. Here’s a little tutorial to help with the regular archiving.

by Mike Evans, 4 February 2013


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