One of the first things I noticed when I got my HTC EVO 4G LTE all set up a few weeks ago was that something was wrong with Facebook integration. Namely, all of my contacts’ Facebook pictures were missing in Google Voice, which I totally rely on everyday. Finding this bug too annoying to just deal with, I set out to find a solution.
The root of the problem has something to do with Google and Facebook not playing nicely together: Google doesn’t like how closed Facebook is when exporting contact data, and Facebook just hates Google in general, so as a result the end user – you and I – have to suffer. This is made manifest in Facebook contacts not syncing properly with Google contacts.
For those of you running AOSP ROMs, or who have pure Google devices like the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, this has been a well-known problem for quite a while. However, HTC is supposed to correct this problem with its Sense-based devices – and I should mention that it has attempted to correct the problem, but its solution is only partial.
Right now, Facebook contact pictures are syncing properly to HTC’s People app, although status messages seem to be hit or miss. (I haven’t yet found a solution for consistent syncing of status messages.) Once I leave People and try to use any other application, however, those Facebook pictures are gone.
For me, this is most noticeable in Google Voice: see the left-hand screenshot above. Others are also complaining about this in third-party messaging apps like Handcent or GO SMS Pro. Luckily, there’s a really simple solution – as long as you’re rooted. Just click here to download Photo Unlocker, which is an app made by ChainsDD, the same developers who brought us the original Superuser. (Unfortunately, this app isn’t available anymore in Google Play, so you may want to save a backup of the apk file in case it ever disappears from this site.)
Next, open the app, select “check,” grant it Superuser permissions, and then select “Unlock now.”
It’s really that simple, and your Google Voice (or any other app that was experiencing issues) will go from looking like the screenshot on the left to the screenshot on the right. Of course, there are other, more complicated solutions out there right now, but this is by far the easiest that I’ve found – there’s no flashing anything in recovery or modifying anything in a text editor. Just click and go!
Be sure to let us know how this works out for you below. And if any of you figure out the Facebook status update bug, let me know about that, as well!