Nexus S Update Removes Facebook Contact Sync

Ryan Whitwam

Google announced yesterday that Android Gingerbread updates were in the process of rolling out to both the Nexus One and Nexus S. For the Nexus One, version 2.3.3 will be the first taste for Gingerbread. Along with the bug-fixes and enhanced NFC tag read/write capabilities, Google also indicated Facebook contact handling would be changing on the Nexus S. What they should have said, is that Facebook contact sync is going away . Google has confirmed that their spat with Facebook has expanded to their flagship smartphone.

The issue is this: Facebook doesn't want to let users offload their contact data to Google directly. Google recently stopped letting users dump Gmail contacts into Facebook. Until this new update, Google allowed Facebook to keep their contacts in the cloud for Android users to integrate with their phones contacts. Other services, like Twitter, use the standard API that actually moves contacts to the phone. Google has decided to take a stand and won't let Facebook do this anymore. It is, apparently, all or nothing for contact sync.

This change is only affecting the Nexus S right now, but Google says more devices in the future will also have Facebook sync dropped. This is probably going to be more annoying for users than it is for Facebook considering how small the number of Nexus S handsets is. Most manufacturers of Android devices will also build in Facebook contact support. Do you think Google should have taken this step?

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