If you’re running stock Android, you’ll know the frustration of not having contact photos for most of your contacts. Thankfully, some apps can sync your Facebook friend’s photos to their contacts on Android, so you never have to see the placeholder head again.
Let’s explore some great apps that sync up your friends’ Facebook photos to your contacts.
How to Sync Facebook Picture With Your Contacts on Android
A while ago, there were a good number of apps that could sync your friend’s Facebook photos to your contacts on Android. Then, Facebook changed how much access apps could have to Facebook profiles, which caused many of these apps to stop working. These days, there are only a handful of apps which have found a way to continue syncing Facebook photos with your Android contacts.
If you want a “set and forget” way to sync your contacts between Facebook and Android, look no further than Sync.ME. Setting up the sync is easy; you go into the settings, access the account section, and attach Sync.ME to your Facebook account.
Once you’ve verified your account, Sync.ME will automatically update your contacts’ photos depending on the timeframe listed in the settings. If you’d rather not wait, you can press the Sync button at the bottom of the main screen—it’s the one that looks like a refresh button.
Sync.ME will then display all the accounts you’ve attached. While it can perform Facebook syncs, it can also perform Instagram, Google+, and Twitter accounts. Once you’ve connected and selected your Facebook account, tap the sync button. The app will try to sync everyone’s Facebook photos to your Android contacts.
Once it finishes syncing your contacts to their respective accounts, Sync.ME will show you all the proposed matches it made. This is where you can double-check that the app found the correct people. If it didn’t, you can let it know it found the wrong profile before continuing.
The app will also show you a list of contacts that it struggled to assign profiles to. You can solve these by tapping on each contact and looking them up on Facebook.
With a profile tied to each of your contacts, Sync.ME will update them all. It will also remember the matches for the next time it syncs, so you only go through this process once. Its ease of use and independent nature makes Sync.ME the best app to sync contacts with Facebook.
Once everything is synced up, you can go a step further and back up your contacts on your phone to Google.
Download: Sync.ME (Free, premium version available)
2. Contact Sync for Facebook (CoSy)
There was once a useful app called CoSy that synced your Facebook images with your Android contacts. However, after Facebook clamped down on how apps can use its API, CoSy shut down. Thankfully, it’s risen again with a new way of importing contact photos.
At the time of writing, CoSy is still under development, so it’s still a little buggy. Despite this, when it works, it does a fantastic job of matching your contacts up to their Facebook pictures.
To sync your contacts, you first log in to Facebook via the app. CoSy will then go through all your Facebook friends and import them into the app. Once it finishes, it’ll then scan your Android contacts and attempt to pair them up with the imported list of Facebook friends.
CoSy then gives each pairing a confidence rating. A contact who shares the full name of a Facebook friend will have a higher confidence rating than a contact which only shares the first name. It also tries to pair up names that look similar but aren’t identical, which can end in some odd results. For example, the app may pair your friend Dennis’ photo for your “Dentist” contact!
If the app got a pairing correct, you can confirm it with giving a tick. This lets the app know which of your contacts corresponds to that specific friend. When you sync the photo, the app uses these links to assign the correct photo to the right person. This feature makes CoSy a good Sync.ME alternative if you want to control how the app links your contacts to their Facebook accounts.
The best part is, once the initial linking finishes, the app can be left alone to sync by itself. You can tell the app to sync after a set amount of hours, days, or weeks, and set the time for the sync to occur. You can tell it to only sync on Wi-Fi, non-metered networks, or while the phone is charging.
Download: CoSy (Free, premium version available)
ContactSyncDuck is a compelling case, because its major flaw may be a significant boon for some. When Facebook clamped down on how apps use its API, ContactSyncDuck got around this problem by asking the user to set up the sync themselves manually.
Unfortunately, ContactSyncDuck has no way of finding your contact’s Facebook page by itself. You have to point the app to each person’s profile by writing their Facebook ID in their Android contact details. When you tell ContactSyncDuck to sync up the photos, it goes through your contact lists, picks out the contacts with Facebook IDs, and syncs their picture.
This does sound like a chore, and if you want to sync up hundreds of contacts with their Facebook images, using ContactSyncDuck will take a long time. However, it will never ask you for your Facebook login details, and it never uses your Facebook account to pry into your friend list.
When you initiate a sync, the app visits each contact’s page, grabs their profile picture, and saves it to your phone. It’s just like asking a friend to visit each of your friend’s pages and grab the picture, except it won’t complain nearly as much. This makes it the best app to sync Facebook photos with your contacts if you’re concerned about privacy.
Facebook is a security and privacy nightmare already, so some users would prefer the manual route instead of giving an app access to their account.
ContactSyncDuck is a focused tool, meaning it is light on additional features. If you’re not interested in anything past syncing with Facebook, you’ll find ContactSyncDuck refreshingly lightweight. There’s no premium plans or phone-invading permissions; just a simple settings screen and a sync button.
If you have any Instagram friends that shy away from Facebook, you’ll be pleased to know that ContactSyncDuck also works with Instagram profile pictures. The setup is identical to Facebook profile, except you enter the Instagram username instead of the Facebook ID.
Download: ContactSyncDuck for Facebook/Instagram (Free)
Keeping Tabs on Your Contacts
If you’re fortunate enough to have hundreds of friends,it can be hard to put a name to a face with your Android contacts. Thankfully, some apps automatically check your friends’ Facebook accounts and update their contact photos with their profile images.
If you want to learn how to sort your Android contacts further, be sure to learn how to pin apps and contacts to the share menu.