Sunday, February 19, 2012

Windows Phone 7 Supports vCards

This may not be news to everyone, but something I learned today is Windows Phone 7 supports vCards for receiving contact information.
To receive a contact via a vCard you can;
  • Email yourself a .vcf file (which can be exported from Outlook or many other contact management applications). Open the attachment in your WP7 email application and the OS will automatically open an ‘Add Contact’ page  with the fields pre-populated.
  • Download a .vcf file from the internet. A great way to do this is via SkyDrive, but be warned (as with many file formats) you need to use the SkyDrive website to download the file not the app. The app only allows downloading files with a limited number of file extensions, and .vcf isn’t one of those.
  • Turn the contents of the vCard file into a QR code. This is sort of the more obvious way to do it, as there are several apps in the marketplace that allow sharing contacts this way. However, you can also use an online tool to convert the data (just try a Google search for ‘qr code generator’) into a qr code if you don’t want to go the app route. Just open the .vcf file with notepad, copy the text and then paste it into the web page to generate the QR code.
All of these are great ways of sharing contact info. Unfortunately the WP7 API for third party apps doesn’t allow sending apps sending emails with attachments, so you can’t email a contact out of your phone in VCF format (at least not easily).

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