just checked out the update to the iPhone’s Facebook app… the current version is 3.1.1.
What’s new? my favorite part… Contacts Sync. It’s a step in the direction which was default feature my wife’s HTC Hero. Though the iPhone’s sync is not as comprehensive (yet) as what’s in the Hero, it’s a step in the right direction.
So what the contact will do is compare the contacts in iPhone’s contact list and your friends in Facebook. If it has found matches, it will then download their facebook photos to the iPhone contact (there’s an option to prevent overwriting an existing photo), and it will add a “home page” entry in that contact, which links to the facebook page. Touching that entry will launch the facebook app and bring up your friend’s page in-app.
This is pretty cool, except there were a few misses…. here’s what I’m certain of… when either one of the below matches
- firstname & lastname
- email address (if shared with you)
- possible phone number as well (I don’t have enough information to validate)
I did have a mis-match… a contact I had in my phone was matched up with someone in facebook with a completely different name, and I’m not even friends with the match. The only data in there was the phone number, and I can’t tell if that happened to have been the criteria of match. Anyhow, certainly a bug if you ask me.
So, how do you perform a sync? First a few things to do prior
- sync your contacts to your PC/Google
- create a backup copy of your contacts after the sync.. e.g. on Google, go to contacts and export everything
- backup is crucial, in case some how the facebook sync screws up your precious contacts
- go forth and make sure you have Facebook 3.1.1 installed
Having done the above, here it goes
- Launch “Facebook” app on your iPhone
- go to the app’s main menu by tapping the top left corner
- touch on the “Friends” icon
- touch “sync” on the top right of the page
- slide “Syncing” to “ON” (notice that “Replace Photos” is “OFF” by default)
- you’ll have to agree to proceed on, tap “I Agree” if you do
- sync begins… take note though, if you have a lot of contacts and they match… expect this to take more then just a few minutes. Try to keep the phone from going to sleep when doing this, or it will slow down
- however, if there’s any interruption, you just need to relaunch the app, and navigate to the sync page; and it should start syncing again from where it left off
*note* some times I need to relaunch the app a few times before the sync will start on it’s own… haven’t figured out why yet.
I hope future updates can even identify changed contact information and the app can prompt for updates.