I have read about the vcard workaround to this problem.
My current status is that if I make a change to a contact on my Mac, the change does not make it to iCloud, and doesn't make it to my iPhone.
I may be able to solve this problem with the vCard workaround. But my question is this: why should I trust the system after trying the workaround? A well designed system would tell me that it wasn't able to sync with the master list. This system, apparently, does not do that. Therefore, even with the workaround, the system itself is untrustworthy. I'm going back to syncing with iTunes.
Hi all. I had this issue too... google'd it and found this thread. Read through the first page and then jumped to the end to see if there was a solution. No go so I thought I'd play with it a bit. My situation is I update contacts on my Mac in Address Book and it does not get to my iPhone. I made changes, added photos, nothing seemed to upload to the iCloud... but it actually did upload... it just did not download to my iPhone. So I went into address book and was at the default page of All Contacts. I clicked on the little Groups button in the top left corner and it brought me to my Groups page. On this page in the top-left corner is a Refresh/Reload button (3/4 circle with an arrow on it). Click this button once and it will contact the cloud and download all the changes/updatas/etc. Working great for me now. Hopefully this helps somebody out there out. Good luck.
OK, I found out more.
Apparently you can have more than one "Account" for your Address Book. You can find the accounts under Address Book Preferences. By default, you have an "On My Mac" account. If you turn on iCloud, you also have an "iCloud" account. If you make changes to the address cards in the On My Mac account, those changes will not be propogated to iCloud or your other devices. If you change a card in the iCloud account, the changes will propogate.
So now the problem is this - I can't find any indication on the Address Book GUI which account is being changed when an Address Book card is added or edited. Apparently my problems were due to the fact that I was editing a card in the On My Mac account, and that account isn't supposed to sync with iCloud. Somehow, I managed to change the setup so that I'm now editing cards in the iCloud account, and the changes are appearing almost immediately on the internet/iCloud version of Address Book, and also on my iPhone.
On Address Book Preferences, under General, you can define which account is the default account, and I'm guessing if you want to use iCloud, that account should be your default account. However, the GUI needs some modification. If you are using Mail, it is very clear when you are reading or sending emails which account the mail belongs to. Address Book needs a change to make it clear which account the card and/or data belongs to.
Please be aware that there is a case of address book software down while reloading vCard file. Yes, it is my case. I am not sure why yet. Usual suspect is 1)Photo, 2)category in the vCard file but not in the address book for I deleted. Currently, I am in the maze not knowing what to do with my blank address book in my Home and Work Macs, and an iPhone.
I will chime in on this as I had similar problems (not identical)
I had successfully updated ipad, Airbook and iphone to lion & ios5. Fired up iCloud. All syncing working as advertised. Until I added and modified some contacts on my iPad. Modified contacts showed up across all devices and the cloud. New contacts show only on iPad, nowhere else. Called Apple tech support. They had me switch iCloud off for contacts on the iPad (keeping contacts on the ipad) then turn it back on and merge with iCloud. Voila!!! Problem solved. Thanks Apple!!!
I know this differs slightly from the issues discussed here, but the solution may be applicible in some situations.
It is good that Apple was able to do something to help with your problem...
However, at this point, for all you know, every time you add a contact on your iPad, in order to get it to sync properly you will have to switch off iCloud and switch it back on again.
That isn't a good system. You need to have some degree of confidence that any change that you make is being propogated to iCloud. Ideally, "some degree" means 100%.
Clearly enough people are having problems, either due to actual bugs or due to failure to use the system properly, that the reliability of iCloud is questionable. There is a lot to be said for at little message "Change propogated to iCloud" that would pop up when a card was edited or added. If you found that 100% of your changes were being propogated correctly, you could then disable the message.
Agreed Geoff, Syncing should be effortless, and I should not have to junp through hoops to make it happen. Nor should I have to check each time I do something to assure changes propogated. I'm pretty confident Apple will get the hiccups ironed out (new ways of doing things always require adjustmen but you are corrrect that this is not an issue that should be resolved by "workarounds". It should "just work." But until that time, I wanted to give folks with the same issues I had a way to recover.
I love your idea of the "Change propogated to iCloud" message. That would be a very comforting thing to see.
If you can not import the exported vCard file (I mean the address app. crashed while re-importing vCard file)
,when the Address App. is at front, launch timemachine.
Get back to last or previous backup. There will all your contacts.
Select all of you contacts and click 'Restore' then it will be live again.
But, photos in the contact is lost while doing it.
Anyway, after that, export to vCard and import that works fine as guided here.
TimeMachine is your aid, in case of needs.
I too ran into this problem and stumbled on the following which seems have it working for me.
First I made sure I had set the default account to be iCloud.
Then I went to Preferences > Accounts and made the iCloud account enabled and disabled the On My Mac one.
Then I clicked on the red bookmark icon on the top left page of the Address Book. I selected the "All on My Mac" list and moved them from there (select and dragged) to the "All iCloud" list. I did the same for any custom groups as well. Then I deleted them from the "All on My Mac" list.
Now new additions and edits to existing contacts area all showing up on my phone immediately and going into the iCloud account by default.
Syncing anything other than the Calendar have never worked flawlessly for me in MobileMe, ever!
Now that I uprgaded to iCloud I'm just not even considering going through the hassle of trying wether it will work or not - Calendar is fine and I leave it at that and just syncing everything else over USB in iTunes once a week.
Too bad we pay for stuff that doesn't do what it supposed to. Even worse, you have to find a solution and implement it - after all that's why I switched to Apple 4 years ago.
No matter how I look at it technology only complicated my life overall, that cost me a lot of $ and time.
After much research, I found something that works well syncing Outlook contacts to iCloud. Try OLMIxedFolders from SomeBytes at: http://www.somebytes.net/27-1-OLMixedFolders.html . It can be used to 2-way synchronize the local Outlook default contacts folder to the iCloud contacts folder. Then, do all contacts edits on the local Outlook default contacts, the edits are synchronized by OLMixedFolders to iCloud within a few seconds.
The only issue I found is the 128kB contact size limitation (imposed by iCloud) - for contacts bigger than 128kB, use a separate local contact folder.
I have been syncing my Outlook contacts to iCloud using OLMIxedFolders for 2 weeks now with no problems.