With iOS 6, Apple finally integrated Facebook to its mobile operating system. This enables users to share photos and links directly to Facebook besides being able to update their Facebook statuses directly from the notification center. It’s a really good thing that Apple decided to integrate Facebook; Apple had integrated Twitter much before.
Integration of Facebook at the primary level has been quite good. The implementation goes really well and you’re able to share stuff on Facebook, post statuses to the social network and get event reminders from Facebook accurately. But beneath these carefully implemented features lies the problem.
The other day, my friend had to send me a screenshot from his iPhone (running iOS 6). I was waiting for his mail on my Gmail but then, the mail never came. After several refreshes, I gave up. In the evening, as I logged into my Facebook account, there was an email waiting for me; it was the email with the screenshot that should have arrived to my Gmail account.
Apparently, the mail got delivered to my Facebook email. It shouldn’t have.
The Problem with Facebook Contacts
As you set up your iPhone (or even later), you get to integrate your Facebook account. What Facebook tells you is that you get to sync Contacts from your Facebook friend list into your Contacts app. What Facebook doesn’t tell you is that it messes up your Contacts lists really bad. It inundates your Contacts list with a lot of @facebook.com and mostly makes it harder to find the right contact you’re looking for.
Perhaps that’s what resulted in the email mess-up we had in our office.
So how do you get rid of it?
The whole deal with the Contacts app is a all-or-nothing feature: you either take the whole cake or leave it. When you first set up Facebook on your smartphone or tab, your contacts list will get populated with all the hundreds of Facebook friends with their contact information. Even if they’ve listed their other emails, Facebook gives preference to their @facebook.com email address (and this is again a mess up).
In order to make sure you don’t get into trouble with the contacts, you just have to do this:
- Go to Settings
- Scroll down completely and tap on Facebook
- Switch OFF Contacts from the “Allow These Apps to Use Your Account”
The Contacts option is not “sync” really; it merely lets you toggle the display of Facebook Contacts. Most people have 100-200 contacts on their iPhone but the number of Facebook friends exceeds 400. And when you’re not going to be contacting them routinely on the smartphone, it makes no sense to have as many contacts showing up on your iPhone.
I sure wish Apple and Facebook did something better regarding the contact sync. It’s nice to have people’s Facebook profile photos sync with their contact details on my iPhone. It’s also good because when people update their email addresses or phone numbers on Facebook, it automatically gets reflected on my iPhone too. But not at the cost of all-or-nothing scheme.
There’s no guarantee that Apple will fix this apparently misleading feature but I’m hoping it will.
This is a guest post by Jignesh who is an active iPhone blogger who likes to play around with apps, tweak settings and troubleshoot problems on iPhones and iPads. He blogs at iGeeksblog.com, where you can find more interesting iPhone tips and tricks.