Linking contacts in SenseSyncing contacts with services like Facebook and Google Contacts is a built in feature of Android, and most users set it up when they get a new phone (Watch Phil set up a Droid Incredible here, 3:55 is where the Facebook stuff starts). HTC's Sense UI and Samsung's TouchWiz improve this functionality by letting users edit links for each individual contact after setting up your phone. So, for instance, say you have a contact on your phone simply named "Bob" but you are friends with "Bob" on Facebook, where his full name "Robert Smith" is listed. Normally, these accounts won't be linked by Android during the initial setup. Using Sense or TouchWiz, however, makes linking the two is easy as pie. 

  1. Open up your contacts app and goto the person you want to link.
  2. In Sense, the link button is in the top right (pictured right). In TouchWiz, it is an option found by scrolling down under the "Info" tab (see the picture after the break).
  3. Clicking on either button will take you to a linked contacts editing screen, where you can search for another contact to link to the one you already have selected. This can be from Facebook, Google Contacts, or a phone contact.
  4. Click on the person or account you want linked, and the software will do its thing. You can link multiple accounts together if you so desire.
  5. Linking a Facebook contact will bring in some cool pieces of info, including birthday (if the person has it on their account) and their profile picture. Nifty!

This is one of the few areas where manufacturer UI customizations really improve Android, and is a feature we would like to see implemented by Google in the future. Click past the break to see a screen shot of TouchWiz doing its thing. Thanks to Bryan for the TouchWiz screenshot from his Vibrant!

Linking contacts in TouchWiz

Rate this tip:
4
Average: 4 (4 votes)
 
There are 21 comments

Also don't forget, with Touchwiz on the Fascinate, if you want a specific ringtone for a specific contact, you have to make a contact on the phone then link it to your Google contact (very stupid).

You can do this with Droid X right out of the box...pretty simple too. Select a contact, hit the menu key, click link contact and select the contact(s) to be linked. Easy peasy!!!

JadeCurtiss says:

I just got an Intercept a couple months ago (my first Android phone so I've always known about this. Durangojim is right, though. With Touchwiz you have to store the contacts directly in your phone in order to set custom ringtones. I didn't realize this until recently myself, since that's how I put all my contacts in my phone anyway.

Also, it's possible to set a default account for a contact, so if someone is using different names on Facebook or Twitter than what they usually go by, you can set which one you want. It'll also use that respective picture. One problem I had before I synced my google account (when it was still just Phone and Facebook linked) was that it's not possible to assign a picture to a phone contact if they're linked and have a blank facebook photo. Or maybe I just forgot to set "Phone" as the default at the time.

ShaqFu says:

I've had issues keeping Facebook photos synced on Sense (HTC Evo). It only updates occasionally, when it feels like it, and there's no way to force an update outside of completely resetting my contact list.

If anyone has any information on how to force it to resync, I'd be glad to hear it.

I know this does not really solve your Sense problem with Facebook. The reason is I encountered the same problem. My profile pics for my contacts never updated. I did some research and came across this app that was purposely created just to synchronize your Facebook pics with your contacts. You can also choose how often to sync. I have mine updating every week. The app is called SyncMyPix. The best part is this app is free!

jj1814 says:

Stock Froyo N1 user here, and I need this in my life.

I have my ex saved as ------ in my phone. I also have a Twitter follower who put symbols (a series of backslashes and forward slashes) in her Twitter bio for her name. Android linked geniusly linked these two together, and there's no way to edit it.

thejesse says:

You already have this in your life with stock Froyo on your N1. Open a contact then press menu=>edit. From the edit screen click menu again and you will see the option to "join" this contact to another contact. In the case of a contact that has already been joined to another, like your ex and your twitter friend, there will be an option to "seperate". Enjoy.

bmoore0909 says:

I have a Fascinate. I've done the Facebook contact sync and linked the accounts I want with my Phone and Google contacts. Now, I can't seem to get back into, and load new Facebook contacts after the initial syncing. What if I want to go back and select someone new from faceook to add to a current contact? Looks like I have to start the whole process over again.

bmoore0909 says:

Wow. I just found out how to do it. While you're in the CONTACTS screen, select the menu button, then hit GET FRIENDS. It brought up my new facbook friends I just added. Awesome. That worked.

JohnJSal says:

But please, how do you *prevent* the link from using the Facebook or Twitter profile pic? I don't want it to keep changing every time someone updates their picture. I want to use my own images for people.

bjb_nyj101 says:

-Go to the Contact in "People"
-Tap the top right where it shows the chain and says "linked"
-Tap on the contact's photo in the top left, and select where you want the photo to come from.

JohnJSal says:

Thanks, I didn't know about that option. But it still doesn't help. The options are "Gallery," "Camera," and "Remove Photo." What if I just want the photo to sync with the photo I set up on my Google Contacts page? That's what I have right now. I don't have any pictures actually stored on my phone...they are all synced from Google Contacts. (But linking my contacts overrides it with the FB, Twitter, etc. picture.)

DroidGnome says:

This is a known bug with HTC Sense. It switches back to Facebook if linked when the server syncs up. It has nothing to do with whether the user updates their pictures or not (I have a friend with no profile pic and it keeps switching). The only solution at the moment is not link your facebook, or turn off Facebook contact sync'ing in the account & Sync section. Maybe one day HTC will fix it :(

JohnJSal says:

Thanks. Unfortunately FB contact syncing is already turned off, so I guess it just happens when I link at all. :(

Edit: Uh, well, I tried it again today and now "Google" *is* an option to choose! Thanks so much for the tip!

jbuggydroid says:

With touchwiz I'm able to set ringtones to contacts that are pulled off google. I'm on an epic. when looking at a specific contact just hit menu, edit, and there it is.

jbuggydroid says:

Also to use a picture that you choose for a contact instead of facebook just edit that contact and tap on icon with plus symbol next to their name where a picture should go then select the picture you want to see. To remove it and go back to facebook picture tap on the picture when editing and tap remove icon

Those features are all nice and dandy. I love my Sense for it.

BUT:

[Q] Any way to sync Facebook Info back to Google Contacts?

Did anyone find a way to sync back facebook information to google contacts? If you get birthdays, email and phone numbers from facebook in your phone, it would be great to have that back in google contacts when using the desktop.

It's in the phone already, just stored differently, but it can't be so difficult to access that data, can't it? Am using a HTC Legend with Sense by the way.

Even when properly linked, this kind of information is only in the phone and gets lost, when you loose a contact as facebook friend, or if they disable/hide their profile for a while and you sync your Contacts.

Did anyone find a way to sync it back and preserve this information? In the Legend forum, someone mentioned EboBirthdays, but it's obviously pretty limited.

Azothyran says:

Yes, but don't forget the Droid2 and Droid X also support this functionality right out of the box.

Shaul305 says:

I may be missing the steps here, but is there anyway to link the FB account to an actual #/Contact I have saved on the SIM? it's only giving me the option to link to other FB accounts.

Or is it due to the fact the #'s are on the SIM and not on the actual phone?

thanks in advance.

EDIT:
Sorry just answered the question. it was that it needs to be applied to the phone. Either way I'm glad I found this post or I wouldve been completely lost.

KathyEllis says:

I just got the Thunderbolt and used it for a couple of weeks and then all my Facebook contacts somehow showed up on my telephone directory. I have a lot of Facebook friends and do not want them cluttering up my phone directory, plus its too easy to mistakenly call one of them. How can I get rid of these contacts on my phone?

I let my grand-daughter use my Droid X, suddenly I have a zillion teenagers and all their info on my contact list, and it wont let me delete them. Somehow she has linked my phone to her facebook account (I'm guessing) How can I undo this?