Saturday, 31 March 2012

Add full Facebook integration to Ice Cream Sandwich and Jelly Bean

What I love about the contact book on Android is the ability for it to link my contacts to their Facebook pages, and use their profile pic as their contact pic. With Ice Cream Sandwich, and still the same situation with Jelly Bean, this functionality is removed. I can still link profiles to my contacts, but things like their profile pic isn't pulled in to their contact page.

This is where HaxSync comes in. It adds the ability to sync friends and Facebook events to your ICS phone. Contacts will have their Facebook profile pic etc imported, and Facebook events will be synced to your calendar.

Just download and install it, and then in the Accounts and Sync settings, it can be configured there. A nice feature is the "fuzziness" of your contacts names. You can change how much of a match the names can contain before getting linked together, so if your friend's called something slightly different on Facebook HaxSync will still link it together. This was a pain in GB ROMs where if the name didn't match up slightly, it had to be linked together manually, which meant having to sync your entire list of Facebook friends to your phone first.

The app isn't free, but for the small price to pay it does fix my only gripe with ICS.

Edit: After upgrading to my HTC One S, I found that this app isn't needed if you stick with HTC Sense. HTC Sense for Facebook that comes with Sense still includes the full Facebook integration.

HTC Desire with Ice Cream Sandwich

I've been running an AOSP Gingerbread ROM on my Desire for quite some time now and it's been running smoothly. Oxygen is what I've been running, but I've been wanting to try something else.

A couple of Ice Cream Sandwich ROMs have popped up for the Desire. I've been on and off watching them for a while, but never really bothered with them as I know the Desire won't officially get an ICS release, so I've not bothered flashing one. Recently though the majority of the problems have been cleared up bar one or two minor ones with USB tethering, so I decided to give it a flash.

The particular ROM I flashed is this one. It uses a nice touch screen installer, so it's easy to customise what you  want/don't want installed. Once up and running it is surprisingly smooth for my two year old Desire. It's not as smooth as the GB ROM I used, but that's expected. 

I do love the interface changes. The new app drawer looks nice, and the new colour scheme works really well. The contact book has had a nice overhaul. If you link your contacts up to their respective social networking profiles their contact page is filled out with photos from it. Facebook integration is seriously lacking with this version of Android though after the whole Google-Facebook dispute, but there is an app that can fix that, which I'll make another post about.