FriendSync: sync your iPhone contact photos with Facebook

Edit: The new Facebook for iPhone application no does friend syncing, you can check out the features in my new Facebook sync contacts post.

I just saw a new download for an application on the iTunes app store that caught my eye and decided to spend £1 to see what it was like… that application was called FriendSync and it offers you a way of Sync your friends pictures into your phonebook contacts.

None of my friends have thier picture in my iPhone because i hate them, no not really, basically i just couldn’t be bothered to take a picture of them all and put it into the phone. I assumed that this application would make it super easy for me to do and i was kinda right.

The application has a tendency to crash, infact i haven’t been able to use it once without it crashing. Also the application seems to have a rather large problem with actually matching up your contact list with your friends on Facebook. I am sure that this is due to the fact that i don’t always use the First name > Last name convention of putting people in my contacts. It seems to me that even if the person isn’t an exact match then i should be given the option of ‘closest’ matches to choose from.

Instead of that option i have to click through each person, and then type there name into the search bar, find them in the application results and then assign the picture. The other thing that is bugging me is i am sure the results aren’t in alphabetical order and some people ‘hide’ below the qwerty keyboard making it hard to select them.

It’s not all doom and gloom though because this application does still make it a LOT easier to assign pictures to people, it just needs some tweaks.

The thing that impressed me the most though was how Facebook handle application asking for your details to ‘login’. They cleverly ask you to login through the application browser (thus no info is sent to the application) and then a key is generated. This key is then put into the application which allows it to access certain things such as friends list etc. This means that no one can get access to your username and password.

The more i use anything to do with Facebook the more i am impressed with the fact that they have thought of just about everything when it comes to thrid parties and applications.

So in closing if you want to add photos to your contacts then this application is cool. It may only get a small percentage of the user’s pictures correct the first time but after you have added them all in it will remeber and update thier pictures when they update them on Facebook.

The developer of FriendSync contacted me a couple of days after writing this post asking for my feedback in finding some issues. I have been in contact with him since that time and i can assure everyone that he is working hard on fixing the issues and has sent an update to Apple, the fixes/features include…

Bug Fixes:

  • Fixed: Crashes due to a large number of contacts and/or Facebook friends.
  • Fixed: Blank images assigned to contacts.


  • Faster Syncing.  Thumbnail images are now downloaded on-the-fly and cached, resulting in faster syncing.
  • Faster Manual Matching.  Default search results are displayed based on a contact’s name when manually searching for a Facebook friend.

Known Issues:
MobileMe and Exchange users who sync their contacts.  After FriendSync sets a contact’s image, MobileMe and Exchange revert the image to the original state.  We have a support ticket open with Apple regarding this issue and will provide an update when it’s resolved.

The developer has also agreed to answer some question about developing on the iPhone which i will put on the blog in around a week or so. I think once these changes get approved then this application could really take off.

You can find more info on the FriendSync Home Page

Update WordPress with new app for iPhone

My friend who runs an Equestrian Blog nudged me about this today… Typepad have had an app on the iPhone app store since launch, but WordPress have been a little slow to get theirs out the door. However, on the same day that Facebook launch the newly redesigned interface, WordPress have got their finger’s out released the iPhone app.

All in all it is pretty basic, quite obviously the app is free and it installs in a matter of seconds. WordPress tells us the app includes the following features…

  • Support for and self hosted blogs
  • Embedded Safari for post previews
  • Full support for tags and categories
  • Photo support for camera and library pics
  • Multiple blog support
  • Auto recovery feature for when your draft is interrupted by a phone call
Writing a post

So what better way to test the software than to write this post? Other than me making a ton of mistakes by using the iPhone keypad, the software is stupidly easy to use. You simply setup your blog login details and then hit save. The next list displays the last X number of posts that were written (where x is the number you set in the options), and also gives you access to the local drafts folder. One thing i did notice is that if you are writting a draft on the PC version and don’t publish it (you simply hit save and leave it in the drafts) then you CANNOT edit it on your iPhone. The iPhone version keeps a local copy of drafts. This is a bit of a let down if you ask me because it would work much better if i could just pick up a post where i left off either on my pc or phone.

The actual interface for writting a post has 4 options along the bottom; Write, Photos, Preview, Settings. The write options obviously allows you to write the post, only with the title’s, categories etc etc.

Photo’s lets you select a photo from your images library on the iPhone or take a snap directly with the camera, both work really well.

Preview shows you the post in Safari (but keeps you in the WordPress app)

Finally settings allows you to password protect the post, or set a date that it should be published.

As i keep saying it is simple, but it does allow you to live blog from events and such quite easily, also if you can use it as a quick sort of bloging notepad to take down ideas for a post and then complete it at a later date.

My only gripe is not being able to edit draft posts from outside the app, and vice versa with the pc. This needs to be fixed.

Also, i must admit i cheated a little and edited this post on the pc to sort out the bullet list and add some more content. It does take a while to write on the iPhone… keep your posts short 🙂

You can get more info from or just search the app store in iTunes or on your iPhone for WordPress.

My Top 10 iPhone 3g Apps

After last weeks fun and games trying to get my iPhone delivered on time and then sprucing up the design on this blog, i haven’t really had a chance to post anything for a week around here. I though i would get back into the swing of things from where i left off… talking about the iPhone.

So the little beauty is here, 16gb black. I have had a few days to play around with it now and i must say i am pretty impressed. The black back is a lot nicer, and you can tell that the phone is lighter and thinner when you pick it up. The GPS is pretty damn good and finds you instantly, and of course i am loving the app store… which brings me to my top 10 apps.

10) Pandora (USA Only)
Pandora is an automated music service which allows users to type in an artist or song, and it will then return a ton of other songs related to your ‘search term’. The music quality has always been high, but as i mentioned in the title you can only use it in the USA which is kinda crappy.

9) Tap Tap Revenge (Free)
Tap Tap revenge is basically guitar hero for a mobile phone. Obviously you don’t have the option of strumming to the beat, but instead you tap to the beat. Its a cool little app but the problem is that you are limited to the number of songs you can tap away too. Interestingly enough the installer version actually lets you tap away to the songs in your library, the ‘official’ app version does not. I think Apple have restricted apps to only accessing data they create or the geo tagging part of the gps.

8 ) Learn French (Free)
You could change the learn French to Spanish or Italian because do an application for all three languages. This little app not only helps you learn the language but can also be used as a quick reference when you are away. The phrases are arranged by situation type (e.g ordering food, asking for hotel, romance) which you then simply select and are given a number of phrases to address the situation. The software also allows you to hit a little speaker button which obviously then speaks aloud the phrase. The sound quality is very good which makes this app rank higher than its lonely planet counter parts.

7) Screenshot (NA)
Whilst not technically an app, it is a function which you can only do in the 2.0 version of the firmware Basically you can take a screen shot of the iPhone screen by simply holding down the home button and then hitting the sleep/lock button on the top. A white flash appears and then your image is saved into the camera roll.

6) Zintin (Free)
Zintin is a geo Social Networking application. It basically locates where you are in the world and then shows you a list of other people in the same area. You can then post images and text into their wall, or even swap contact information. Its all quite basic at the moment but i could certainly see this being an awesome application at a festival or so. The app needs more features but i certainly think that Geo Social Networking will take off in a big way soon.

5) (Free) is pretty much the same idea as Pandora except that it works in the UK too. You can create some cool play lists and you get music which should match your tastes. The app also allows you to download your favorite tracks from the iTunes store.

4) Twitteriffic (Free)
A nice little app for allowing you to tweet on twitter. The only problem is that it is not as good as Twinkle which was available through installer. It still gives you the option of the geo tagging though so can be used in the same way as Zintin. Its basically just twitter mobile.

3) Shazam (Free)
Ever heard a song that you really really like but don’t know the name of it? Well Shazam is hear to help. This is the new and free version of Shazam. Instead of dialling 2580 and holding your phone up to some speakers, you just open the Shazam app and hold the phone in the air. The nifty software then identifies the tune and whisks you off to the iTunes store to purchase it.

2) Vicinity (£1.79)
I love vicinity so much and it was so close to taking the number 1 spot, however there are still some minor issues with the application and the data that it presents. Lets take a look at some of the stuff it can do though. Basically Vicinity provides access to a whole host of services in your current area, you just hit the locate me button and the app pulls down a ton of information for you such as pubs, restaurants, takeaways, taxis and banks. What is even more amazing is it then pulls down Wikipedia articles about your surrounding area and also Flickr and Panaramoio images.

As i mentioned at the start, the data can be slightly out of date so it would be awesome if they allowed users to participate in making sure the data is correct. This is one of those apps that you can pull out whilst waiting for a friend in the pub and egg up on your surroundings. A must have!

1) Remote (Free)
So we finally get to number 1, and its an app made by Apple, are you really supprised?
Remote is simply amazing, and i have not shown it to anyone who hasn’t ended up saying wow. Basically it allows you to sync with iTunes or Apple TV and then take control of the playing device with your iPhone.
It works over wifi so you can control your music and tv from anywhere in the house. It streams down the album artwork and playlists so you have the full experience right in front of you. It also works with the Apple Airtune speakers to keep completely in control. You really need to download this to beleive how well it works so stop reading and hit the app store now.
So there you have it, my top apps. I am hoping that there will be many many more released in the next coming months, and to be honest i really can see the app storm blowing up into massive proportions. Leave me a comment or two if you think i missed any apps.

iTunes 7.7 released, includes iPhone app store

Continuing on with the iPhone theme this week, i just downloaded the latest version of iTunes (7.7) which feature the new app store for the iPhone 2.0 firmware.

You have to enable first by going to preferences > app store. Obviously you won’t have any apps in there yet so simply click “Get more apps” and u get taken to the shop.

Anyone who is familiar with iTunes will be able to instantly notice the layout. Basically you have your app categories, along with a few promotional spaces on the front page. Its nice to see that there are plenty of free apps for users to download too.

I went ahead and tried to download a free app, this worked very nicely and the app appeared in (surprisingly) the apps section of iTunes. Obviously since my current iPhone is still using 1.4 firmware the app wont actually sync to your iPhone, that will have to wait until tomorrow.

Overall the apps aren’t all that to be honest, there are a couple which might be useful to some people but most of the really good stuff has already been released on Installer. On that note, i think the big apps will be a well made MMS client and Copy + Paste… i am not sure how easy they would be to make though.

So in closing the new app store on iTunes is pretty swish, and should be a seamless transition to sync once u have 2.0 firmware on your iPhone.