Android has always been very good at keeping track and integrating your contacts into the operating system, whether they come from GMail, your SIM card, Facebook and even Skype. At least, this was the case in Gingerbread. Unfortunately, when Android was updated to 4.0, the ability to sync Facebook contacts was removed, apparently due to some licencing concerns. This kind of put a hamper on things, but fortunately thanks to the openness of Android, there’s something you can do about it! In this post I’ll show you how to manually edit contact photos, add Facebook photo sync back in, and automatically add pictures to contacts without social network information. Here’s how:
1. Manually Editing a Contact
All you have to do is to already have a photo of the person you want to give a picture to. After you download it, open the “People” app:
From there, tap on the contact you want to edit. You should see this screen, press the Menu button and choose “Edit”:
Now, all you have to do is to press on the picture next to the name and pick “Choose Photo from Gallery”:
Then, pick the photo you want to assign for that contact, select an area, crop it, and that’s about it:
2. Using an app to bring back Facebook photo sync
As I said, there’s a nice way to bring picture sync back to Android after Gingerbread. If your contact is already a Facebook friend, all you have to do is download an app that will allow you to automatically add their Facebook profile picture to your contact. A good app for this is Facebook Contact Picture Sync, and all you have to do is provide your info and it will compare the details of your contacts with your Facebook friends, and when it finds a match it will update the contact photo as soon as you press the “Sync Pictures” button at the bottom. You can also see which contacts will be updated by the “Ready for sync” green text at the bottom of the contact. Pretty nifty.
3. For contacts without social networking info
If it bothers you to have contacts without a picture, you can also use an app to do a image search on the internet for the details of that contact and automatically assign them a image it finds. It works best for things like organizations or inanimate objects, but still, it can be useful. The app I use for this purpose is “Contact Photo Finder”, and it performs okay for what essentially is a guessing game. Still, I find it better than having contacts without a picture, and this is a good way to assign an appropriate picture to the Fire Department, Taxi service, Pizza Delivery, etc.
So, after all these steps, you should already have a pretty complete People app. There will probably still be a few contacts without a picture, but you can always edit them manually if you wish (see step 1), so it’s probably not a big deal. I, for one, love to see my contacts with an appropriate picture, and these are the tips I use to help me complete my collection. Hopefully, these will help you too, and work without much effort (as proper contact sync should be), and soon you should have your People app filled with familiar faces!