Back in August, I showed you how to backup your mobile contacts and sync events to iCal using Address Book and iSync. Personally, I find it easier to edit contact information in Address Book then sync it over rather than filling in the fields on the mobile phone. One field in particular is very prominent: the contact’s picture.
It’s nice to have a picture of the person who is calling or whom you’re dialing. It adds a more personal touch. But it’s quite a lot of work to manually search for pictures of your friends and adding them to their contact information. The easier method would be to let your Mac do the work for you.
Who doesn’t have a Facebook account? I’m guessing that you would surely have added most of your friends on Facebook by now. Provided that your contacts’ information in Address Book are accurate (First name, Last name), I will show you how you can sync Facebook profile pictures to your mobile contacts – the easier way to manage contacts’ pictures.
Using AddressBookSync, you can search through all of your Facebook friends and find those who you have in Address Book and sync their profile pictures over. Here’s how to do it.
Firstly, download and copy AddressBookSync over to your Application folder and launch it. On initial launch, it will ask you to log in to your Facebook account and approve the application.
Once you’ve done that, it will search through your friends in Facebook and generate a list of matches i.e. the same contacts you have in Address Book. Here’s why you need to properly fill in the contacts’ first and last name. AddressBookSync depends solely on the names to find matches. That said, it is actually pretty smart. Names like Richard and Robert are also matched to Dick and Bob. It will match common short names automatically.
To further narrow or in this case, expand the matches – you can choose to match using only the last name. Now, the application will go through the friends you have in Facebook and it will ask you if the last names between a match corresponds with each other.
After the list of matches is generated, you can go through them individually to check if the profile picture is properly aligned. If it isn’t, all you need to do is double-click the picture to bring up the picture editor. With that, you can pan and zoom the picture until it is corrected. It’s worth noting that AddressBookSync grabs the highest resolution profile picture from Facebook. This is very useful for iPhone users.
If you’re an iPhone user, you will cringe when I tell you that if Address Book manages/edits the contact picture, only a thumbnail will appear when that contact calls you. But because AddressBookSync grabbed the highest resolution picture and synced it over to your iPhone, all you need to do is to ‘Edit Photo’ in your contact information to expand that picture to full-screen and save. There’s no workaround for this, unfortunately.
Besides profile pictures, this application will also sync your friend’s birthdays if they added it in Facebook. After syncing them into Address Book, you can use this workflow I created a while back which will send you weekly notifications if a birthday is coming up and automatically set alarms for them using iCal.
AddressBookSync will only work on Mac OS X 10.4 and higher. And as all things on MakeUseOf, it’s free. Let me know how it works out for you. Lastly, remember that in order to make the best out of this application, you will need to organize your contact information so that it matches your friends’ names on Facebook properly.