Preventing promiscuous android contacts
September 15, 2011 5:22 AM   Subscribe

I just got a Droid Bionic, and every third app that I install wants to sync contacts on my phone. Help me navigate this without contaminating my Gmail contacts.

Facebook, Yahoo, and lots of other apps want to sync contacts to my phone. Right now the only contacts on my phone are my Gmail contacts, and to those are sacrosanct. This leads to a few questions:

Is there a way to sync these contacts to my phone without having all that information appear in my Gmail contacts? There's a lot of junk in my Facebook and Yahoo contacts, and I want to keep most of it out of my Gmail contacts.

But it would be nice if I could selectively update some of my Gmail contacts with info from Yahoo or Facebook. Is there an easy way to do that from my phone if I add those Yahoo and Facebook contacts top my phone?

Finally, if I seem to be totally misunderstanding how this "sync contacts to your phone" works, feel free to explain it.
posted by Tehhund to Computers & Internet (2 answers total)
 
Facebook contacts sync merely means that they update your contacts picture with their facebook picture and add their date of birth to their contact details. I usually turn off the latter since lots of people put fake dates or only the month which Facebook incorrectly assumes to be the 1st of the month. That might have been fixed now though.

Yahoo needs access to your contacts so you can send email to people in your address book. I don't know if they sync.

To be honest, I'd just backup your GMail contacts from the website. Try the apps, see what they do and know that you can always restore them from the backup if needs be.
posted by mr_silver at 6:02 AM on September 15, 2011


The way I have my phone set up (T-Mobile MyTouch 3G Slide, or "HTC Espresso"), the Facebook contacts sync means the phone has access to info from all my Facebook friends. On the phone it links those contacts (sometimes automatically, sometimes manually) with my Google contacts, and all that shows up in the Google contact if I look in my web browser is part of the notes field looking like
<HTCData><Facebook>id:XXXXXXXXX/friendof:XXXXXXXX</Facebook></HTCData>
where the Xs are numbers. That might only happen if I manually set up the link — after all, the phone wouldn't need to store that info if it could figure it out automatically.

I did not do anything special to make this happen other than activate the Facebook contacts sync and give my login info. I do not use Yahoo contacts. If I want this info to be saved to the Google contact, I add it to the Google contact.
posted by cardioid at 6:29 AM on September 15, 2011


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