iCloud Contacts vs Google Contacts: Where Should You Save Contacts on Your iPhone

When you are using an Android phone, one prefers using Google Contacts to store and manage contacts. But when it comes to the iPhone, users are confused between iCloud Contacts and Google Contacts. If you are also wondering where to save contacts on your iPhone – iCloud or Google? You will find the answer in this post.

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You can pick one of the option when you start using your new iPhone. Of course, you can always switch to another service later. But why would you want to take the risk and headache of merging or losing contacts?

We will help you figure out which one should you pick between iCloud Contacts and Google Contacts. Let’s get started.

Required Cloud Account

Typically, when you save a contact on your iPhone, it gets saved on your iPhone’s storage. Now you can either enable iCloud Contacts or use other services such as Google Contacts to sync contacts.

iCloud Contacts is a service attached to iCloud storage that uses Apple ID. When you add an Apple ID on your iPhone, iCloud is activated automatically. It’s a default cloud service on Apple devices. You can enable/disable various services like photos, notes, reminders, calendar, etc. Contacts are also one such service. When iCloud Contacts is enabled, contacts from your iPhone sync to your iCloud account. You’ll be glad to know that iCloud Contacts works without adding any additional account or app to your iPhone.

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On the contrary, Google Contacts, as is obvious, is a service from Google. You need to sign in with your Google account on your iPhone to use Google Contacts.


You can access iCloud contacts primarily on Apple devices (iPhone, iPad, and Mac). And on the web version of iCloud that can be accessed from a Windows PC as well.

You can use Google Contacts on iPhone, iPad, web, and Android phones without any issue. Basically, you can access Google Contacts from other phone, computer or tablet by connecting your Google account and without using any workaround.

Tip: Check out how to view Apple Notes on Android.

Sync Contacts

Once you have added respective accounts for iCloud or Google on your iPhone, each service’s existing contacts will sync with the ones on your iPhone.

Any changes you make to contact on iPhone or other devices will immediately reflect on other connected devices. Basically, the sync process works in the same manner for both iCloud and Google. You don’t need to worry on that front.

The only difference is that by default, the existing and any new iPhone contacts will sync to iCloud. You will need to manually change the default storage location of new contacts, as shown at the end of the post.

Special App

Whether you save contacts on iCloud or Google, those can be accessed using the same app on iPhone, i.e., Apple Contacts app. Google doesn’t offer a dedicated contacts app for iPhone as available on Android.

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Organize Contacts

When the contacts are saved on either service, you might wonder what features you would get. Let’s begin with the organization.

On both services, you can organize your contacts into categories. With iCloud Contacts, you get the Groups and on Google Contacts, you have Labels.

Import/Export Contacts

Fortunately, both make it easy to add new contacts in bulk using the Import feature. Similarly, you can export all your contacts with Export. The feature is available on the web version of both services and cannot be used on the iPhone directly.

Find and Merge Contacts

Over time, you save duplicate copies of various contacts. Instead of finding duplicate contacts manually, you would prefer a feature that would find duplicate contacts automatically.

Fortunately, one of Google Contacts’ interesting capabilities is to look for duplicate contacts and merge them. You can perform this action using the web version of Google Contact (on mobile and PC both) and through the Google Contacts app on Android phones.

On the other hand, only Mac supports finding duplicate contacts in iCloud (Go to Card > Look for Duplicates in Contacts app). Otherwise, you will either have to find them manually or take the help of third-party apps such as Cleaner.

Restore Deleted Contacts

In case you accidentally delete a contact from either service that you intend to use, you can restore it on both services.

You will have to use the Account settings section on the iCloud web to restore Apple contacts. We have done a detailed guide on how to restore deleted contacts from Google Contacts.

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Where to Save Contacts on iPhone

The answer depends on your need and preferences. Meaning, if you are using Apple devices only, then you should continue staying with iCloud Contacts. You should also move your existing Gmail contacts to iCloud. In case you decide to move to Android or Google Contacts in the future, you can always do so.

But if you own an Android phone or keep switching between Android and iPhone regularly, then Google Contacts is a better choice. Moreover, if you use lots of Google services, you should opt for Google Contacts.

However, there is no hard and fast rule. You can use either, both, or none of the services. Your user experience will be the same whether you use Google Contacts or iCloud Contacts. When both services are enabled, existing contacts from both services will sync to your iPhone. However, you will have to decide where you want to save new contacts, as shown below.

Tip: Change Default Contacts Account on iPhone

For that, open Settings on your iPhone and go to Contacts. Tap on Default account. Select Gmail or iCloud. The iOS will use selected account to save new contacts. Nothing will happen to the existing contacts.

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The Right Choice

If you decide to stay with iCloud Contacts, you don’t need to move your existing iPhone contacts. They will automatically sync to iCloud. But if you want to use Google Contacts, change the default storage location of new contacts as shown above. Then move your existing iCloud Contacts to Google Contacts. You can use both services to keep contacts in sync between iPhone and iPhone as well.

Next up: If you are keen on using Google services instead of Apple, you might want to sign out of Apple ID. Find out what happens when you log out of Apple ID on your iPhone or iPad from the next article link.

Last updated on 26 October, 2021

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