Apr 17 AT 9:00 AM Matt Demers 41 Comments

SyncMyPix pulls Facebook contact photos to Android


Before I start this review, I’d like to give a little note: those looking to download this app will have to do so from this link.

When I found out that my Android phone had the ability to have a picture assigned to each contact, this presented me with a unique problem: I tend to be really lazy. At the moment I have roughly 97 entries on my phone; finding a photo for each one of these people, uploading it and then attaching it to their contact would be a taxing experience.

Thankfully I managed to find Syncmypix. Recommended to me by name only, I found it after a bit of a hunt (explained more below). What it does is sync with your Facebook contacts and automatically attaches a person’s profile photo to their Android contact card if it shares the same name. This allows for a one-touch sync which (theoretically) allows for a lot less stress.

What I like:
- The ability to make a timed sync so that photos stay current. This can be changed based on your preferences to how often you want Syncmypix running in the background.
- A one-touch “sync” button.
- Cheap as free and open source
- The ability to attach a photo to a contact if the name doesn’t match up. This is achieved by long-pressing a contact within the scan’s results. This is great for friends who have the habit of using middle names as last names, or like one friend of mine, has their last name spelled backwards on their Facebook profile.
- A “Results” menu, which stores the data from the last sync. This saves a lot of time when you don’t feel like re-scanning everyone when you just need one picture.

What I don’t:
- How hard it is to find. It took a bit of Google searching to find this app. It isn’t on the marketplace, and AndroLib’s QR code doesn’t link to it, either. I had to find the source page and download the APK from there; the QR code in this article links to the correct place.
- Some contacts are extremely fickle. Some just refuse to sync, no matter how similar the names are. I find it best to fix this problem if you have the “Crop” option enabled in options. If you assign a picture to a contact manually and it doesn’t ask you to crop the photo, there’s a good chance it isn’t going to successfully attach to the contact card.
- I had some problems using the Facebook Connect menu when the app asked for permission to use my account. I think this was more of a browser issue that one with the application; clicking the “Login” button just didn’t seem to want to send the request.

SyncMyPix is a great app that does what a lot of us don’t want to do. I’d think of it as an essential service for the Android because it automates a normally-mundane process; I think if more developers made apps with this statement in mind, we’d see a lot more functionally useful offerings.

Now, if only it weren’t a pain to find…

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Matt is a Toronto blogger who enjoys writing opinion columns about culture, comics and of course, Android. You can find more of Matt's work on his personal site.

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  • http://Website legendary1022

    Um doesn’t the Facebook app already do this? Or does this have the added ability to actually sync the pictures back to gmail unlike the Facebook app?

    • http://www.mattdemers.com Matt Demers

      This actually does sync pictures back to Gmail.

      I actually had no idea the Facebook app functioned like this; it’s never given me the option.

      Apologies, guys. At least it does have functionality over the official app.

      • http://Website SteveT

        Android can have multiple contacts sources, and will attempt to intelligently merge these. One of these, the default one, is your Google contacts. Another, if you have the app installed, is Facebook. This means that you will see facebook icons against the contacts in your phone. You’ll also see phone numbers, other information that your friends have in their Facebook profiles.

        It’ll also do nifty things like show the Facebook status next to their name in contacts, and allow you to go directly to their facebook page, from the contacts manager. Pretty sweet little app.

        • http://Website Mike

          Version please. HTC Sense phones do that and perhaps android 2.0/2.1 does that but Mytouch 3g, and the G1 and any google experience phones with android 1.6 don’t have this capability

          • http://Website OKK77

            The feature is for 2.0 and above only, sir. Something that get upstreamed from Sense and Motoblur, I suspect.

  • http://Website shanej

    Hate to bring the err, but facebook for android does this already

    • Drew

      If you have any phone running stock Android 1.6/1.5, Facebook for Android does not do that

  • http://Website kenny

    Facebook app does this already.

  • http://Website Tangi

    On the myTouch (non-3.5 mm), the Facebook app does NOT do this. So this is quite a find! Thanks!!!

  • http://Website Brad

    Android 1.5 facebook app does NOT have any importing options like this app.

  • http://Website Martin

    There is also the app Facebook Sync, which does the same thing.

    • http://Website Ben Force

      I used Facebook Sync and it synced a lot of photos incorrectly, which I then had to undo manually.

      • Drew

        Make sure that you have full names for people. I’ve never had a problem with full names, and I’ve been using it since May of last year.

        and obviously it won’t work if you have multiple people with the same exact name.

    • http://Website David

      I use facebook sync, worked perfectly for me although I might try this out too.

  • http://Website mibble

    On Android phones with HTC Sense, the People widget (Sense’s contact list app) syncs with Facebook for Android and pulls in photos automatically. Works fine on my 1.5 Hero. I’m guessing the first three posters have HTC Sense phones like me.

  • http://Website Bobba

    It would have been nice to hear specifically what this app does that the Facebook app doesn’t do to precisely figure out the benefit. I have a Droid and the Facebook app does a pretty good job at syncing photos already. The only thing is I must have the names match precisely on my phone as they are on facebook.

    Everytime I’ve used one of these additional apps, I find that they are buggy (as you pointed out in the review above) and generally not worth the extra effort. The Facebook app syncs regularly and will update photos all by itself. The facebook app unfortunately completely fails in just about every other regard

    • http://Website David

      I have a N1.

      The facebook app allows linking (sort of pseudo-merging) of the contacts on the phone. On the phone you can display their Facebook (or last.fm or gmail) picture but the actual gmail contact picture won’t be changed.

      I used the ‘Facebook sync’ app (from the market). This actually updates the gmail contact picture with the facebook one. Seemed to get them all correct for me. It also doesn’t require the names to match perfectly as you can manually connect contacts.

  • http://Website kenny

    I have the N1

  • http://Website j2eubank

    I had this on my MT3G months ago.. it was in the market then. Great app!!!! I loved it. Since getting the N1 I haven’t needed it but it worked flawlessly when I used it.

    Wonder why it left the market??

  • http://pro-thoughts.blogspot.com/ vkelman

    “Actually update Gmail contact pictures”? I didn’t get it. Aren’t Gmail contact pictures defined by what picture *that person* attached to his/her account, not by me?

    I know I can “suggest” a picture for one of my contacts, but it just sends email with a suggestion, something like that. Am I wrong?

    • http://Website nquad

      You’re only partially correct. Every google account owner can set his/her profile picture. But your contacts list has a separate existence from that and you can set an image of your choosing for that person on your contact list which by default is the same as the one the person used on his/her google profile but can be something different as well.

      Apparently, your android contacts list is yet again a separate list from your gmail contacts list in the sense that the former can use contact pictures from fb directly (via the fb app). This has the advantage that your phone contact picture will be automatically updated when the person changes it on their fb profile but also has the disadvantage that the picture won’t sync back to your gmail contacts list (as the merging with the fb contact is local to your phone).

      This app has the inverse effect in that sense – it will allow you to pull the picture off fb and upload back to your gmail account, but it won’t stay in sync with the fb profile of the contact (unless you run it periodically using the timed sync feature).

  • http://Website Bugdog

    Worked great, thanks – good review and good app! Only problem I’ve run into is linking a pic to a contact where the names don’t match, but I believe that’s because I have the Behold II, and when in doubt I blame Samsung’s godawful TouchWhizz.

  • http://Website Emac

    I would like to see a version of this for myspace

  • http://Website Diana

    I’ve had this app since my g1 I now have mytouch 3g.. I have always got it off the market so it was on at one time..

    And for those who say facebook does this… it doesn’t for everyone and this is at least FREE for those who are saying something about the other app out there.

  • http://altepeter.com Jeremiah

    This is a great app, been using it for awhile now.

    It IS, however available on the market

  • http://Website Mike

    Are the pics full screen or still the small box?

  • http://Website Max

    I have a Samsung moment and i can’t get it to work. It gets stuck in the browser part of the process. When i put my password and email for facebook. When i click on connect and allow permission it just doesnt go thru. I read in the article that he had the same issues, HOW DID YOU RESOLVE IT???????
    plz help guys…


  • http://Website graham

    how do i get facebook to UNSYNC will all other features on my Evo?

  • http://Website Thanks!

    Just transfered phone companies, this will make it much easier to transition since so many of my friends ar e on face book any way… Thanks so much!

  • http://Website brandon


  • http://Website MiCK

    Many have pointed out that the Facebook app does this already and have asked what the added benefits are…
    1-You can schedule synchs so that pictures are routinely refreshed
    2-You can crop the photos so that they appear better
    3-You can choose to use high quality photos
    4-You can manually link facebook friends to phone contacts (My friend Kim is Kimberly Thompson-Jones on Facebook, but Kim Jones on my phone. FB never synched the two, but I can link them with this app)

  • http://Website Steph

    After many hiccups with Facebook/HTC Sense not keeping in sync with new contacts or profile pics on FB, I’m going to give this app a go ;-)

    HTC Sense is great, but it’s alas not bug-free…

  • http://Website jennifer

    I am still having trouble syncing my facebook contacts into my phone contacts. It didn’t automatically do it when I downloaded Facebook for Android. I tried with this download and it tells me contact not found on all my facebook contacts, My phone had no trouble downloading my twitter pictures. Any suggestions.

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  • http://www.androidplaneta.ru/media Планета андройд

    I do accept as true with all the concepts you’ve presented to your post. They’re really convincing and will certainly work. Nonetheless, the posts are very short for starters. May you please lengthen them a bit from next time? Thanks for the post.

  • chris

    thanks alot mate

    • Tomashx

      You can link contact with picture from facebook very easy if you have android 2.1, just go to the contact and edit contatact, open additional menu and click link contacts

  • Devilz

    ihave samsung ace …
    my all contacts have been synched with the app but it does not get synched with my contacts
    Please help me guys