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Having Trouble Syncing High Quality Contact Pics To Your Galaxy Nexus? Try These Tips

We have received enough emails from readers who are tired of seeing pixelated photos while thumbing through their contact that we stressed our brains to try and find some fixes.  See, we have this theory that Google’s servers are to blame since their contact system only holds small photos (possibly 125×125). You may take or attach a high-res photo to a contact, but once it syncs with Google, the size is dropped down, hence the poor photo quality that mysteriously shows up on your phone. As you can see in the picture above, we were all high quality for a minute – trust me when I say that the photo is no longer that sharp now that it has sync’d.

So how do we go about getting nice quality pictures in our contact lists?  Well there are a few options out there to try.  If you are looking to pull high quality images from Facebook into your contacts, you can download Friendcaster which claims to allow for syncing of higher quality photos. It’s tough to tell if it actually works well, but if you notice that the pics still look funky, then try turning off your contact syncing with Google so that their servers stop putting the old photos on your device.

And speaking of turning off Google sync, another option is to do just that. Turn off sync and then manually set high-res photos of your friends. Since it can’t upload them to Google contacts only to convert them to smaller, lower-res images to be returned to your phone, you should be swimming in quality. This of course defeats the purpose of having everything sync’d at all times with Google’s cloud.

The other option, is to tell all of your friends to get on Google+ since it appears to use high-res profile images from it by default.

Update: Here is another great option for everyone. It’s called HaxSync and it just hit the Market from an XDA developer specifically for this purpose.  Have at it.

Cheers Eric, Dan, K, Alex, and Thomas!

  • http://blog.oxplot.com/ Mansour

    You might also want to try this app which I specifically built to address this issue. https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.oxplot.contactphotosync
    It syncs the high quality photos into an album on Picasaweb.

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  • Kelly

    HaxSync works great for me, well worth the 99c

  • Anonymous

    Trying to use HaxSync but can not find Settings/Accounts & Sync I find everything but nothing about sync in my facebook account on the phone.

  • DCABuckeye

    App is stuck on install for 10 minutes now.  Cannot stop the install and rebooting does not help.  Chewing up past the refund period and battery.  Do not like!

  • Daniel Lehmann

    As you correctly pointed out, the Google contacts server doesn’t at the moment support pictures larger than 96×96.

    There are currently two ways to get high-resolution pictures:
     - Set the picture locally from the gallery. The next sync should NOT overwrite this picture but keep the high-resolution version on the device
     - Use a different sync source that supports high resolution pictures, like Google+

    Your post sounded like locally set pictures are reduced in quality after just a few seconds. Are you using any other application that might affect sync?

  • Anonymous

    Just got my phone yesterday.  One problem.  I have everything maxed out volume wise on the phone and yet I can barely hear any sounds.  Help!

  • Mdh7

    Here is something to try, I have not tried it yet but it sounds promising.
    http://forum.ppcgeeks.com/htc-evo-4g/124610-guide-keep-high-resolution-photos-caller-id.html

    • Mdh7

      Actually Step 1 does not work on the Google Nexus. I does work on the Droid X though.

  • Anonymous

    Why are so many people have problems with this failure? There is an update for the razr :) The best is getting better.

    • Anonymous

      But if the nexus recieved another update you would assume its a bug fix, and go on to whine about bugs in ICS, (even though there are no bugs, and you know it.)

      • Anonymous

        There are bugs and we all know it. People on here do not want to admit it. Moto fans are more real and honest. Your nexus lags as crazy and it has the latest omap, i guess the ram that moto uses make a difference DDR2 RAM :)

        • Guest

          …..

        • Anonymous

          No, there are no bugs. I know there are not. How could there be bugs, still on a google phone thats already recieved multiple software updates already. And how would you even prove that there are bugs when you obviously never used it? You don’t learn, these ‘bugs’ don’t exist, so stop saying the phone has bugs.

          • Anonymous

            There are a lot of bugs that is why google is pushing updates. weak signals, the device lags like crazy, plastic etc stop pretending.

          • Anonymous

            motorola phones always have the most bugs, especially after  updating the version of android. I’ve used several different motorola phones, bugs ruined the experience, which is the main reason I no longer trust motorola.

          • Anonymous

            My experiences have been super :) Moto at this point has the best features, skin, radios and hardware.

        • Guest

          …..

    • Guest

      ……

  • Anonymous

    All you have to do it chose the image from your phone and not gmail.. as long as its not super miniature it will appear fine.

  • http://profiles.google.com/scott.strool Scott Strool

    When using Google Voice to dial I don’t see the contact pic at all. Is this by design or a bug?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Chynna-Colton/100000977737770 Chynna Colton

    I was wondering if any of you knew what screen protector would actually make my screen look nice. I bought the Verizon ones today and am very disappointed with the quality. Any suggestions? 

    • nick

      The XO Skin is really good, heard a lot of good reviews about it including scratch resistant and anti-fingerprint. Gonna get myself one.

  • http://www.ellianth.com Ellianth

    Not the tone I was hoping for when I started complaining about this this morning. None of the solutions suggested in this article are solutions for the reasons listed below:

    1. What if I want to pick the photo? There’s no telling what a friend might use as their contact photo.

    2. As soon as I stop letting one of the alternate services sync with my phone, I’m stuck with Gmails garbage 96×96 photos again.

    3. Syncing with the alternate services causes extra baggage to come down along with the photos. Extra baggage including but not limited to: duplicate phone numbers, alternate phone numbers that you don’t care about, old phone numbers that are no longer used by a contact that was too lazy to remove them form his/her profile, etc. To make this worse, it’s usually an all or nothing sync. Take all the baggage, or have nothing at all.

    4. If i want to use a device that doesn’t support Google+ contact sync or facebook sync, i’m again stuck with the low res contact pics.

    The real solution here is the Gmail team fixing the contact photos in Google Contacts. People have been complaining about this issue for year and they simply ignore all the threads on Google groups. Now the problem is even worse because they decided they wanted to put huge photos of your contacts inside the contact cards and the people app.

    How on earth did they not realize that the contact photos coming out of Gmail were blurry when they were testing ICS? Really now.

    • Anonymous

      +1 for a worthwhile post. This is what we should see at the top.

  • Patrick

    For haxsync to work properly should Google sync be on oroff

  • jazz

    Hey all semi off topic question here. Any one else noticing this issue, when incoming calls come from people in your contact list the caller id only shows the # and not the contact and picture. Digging deeper it even asks if you want to add this # to your contacts

  • Anonymous

    I used SyncMy Pics and if I remember it pulled higher resolution images.

  • Anonymous

    Google will no doubt support higher res photos once ICS expands to more devices. So just be patient bro, you probably have ugly friends anyway. 

  • Anonymous

    My bro just returned the nexus, he told me this device was overrated and it sucks. he is going with the rezound or white razr.

  • Brian Hermon

    I’ve found a slight fix… I successfully have High Res photos for my “Favorites” CNET’s review tipped me off…. Your Favorites are allowed to have high res photos. I created mine at the recommended 256×256 size at a 315 resolution.

  • Anonymous

    The problems I’ve noticed/encountered are this:
    1) Google contacts have long had the problem of low-res/blurry/pixlated images when synced with Android (I’ve had this problem for the past  1 and 1/2 years on my Droid X.
    2) syncing with Google+ now actually duplicates my contacts (somehow contacts in my Google contact list and Google+ circles are not merged as one)
    3) Even when syncing with Google+, my contact pictures are still not hi-res

    I know I haven’t offered any solutions here, but hopefully recognizing all the areas of problems can bring us closer to a solution.

    • Binglut9

      if you have duplicated contacts you have to link them together…yes i know its a pain

      • Anonymous

        Thanks! The absurd thing is that they are contacts in my gmail whom I invited to Google+. Then, when they join, it adds them as a new contact rather than recognizing that it’s the person I invited….It’s all Google, it shouldn’t require linking….argh!!

  • http://twitter.com/kirilv Kiril

    I assuming that Google is already working to fix the web interface. When I pick a contact photo from my phone, that photo is synced back to Google in high-res. However, the web interface for picking a photo shrinks it (although I haven’t checked recently). Either way, you would need to redo all photos, as the ones there now cannot be resized up.

    • Anonymous

      I haven’t tried that but will. I too noticed that the web interface always downgrades images

    • Anonymous

      owww google still fixing problems lol. My droid razr works flawless kudos to Moto.

  • http://twitter.com/magiman7 magiman7

    I think the default image for users w/o a pic should be the Android image you have in this article. Would be much better than the grey avatar they use now.

    • Anonymous

      the default image here has much nicer hair :)

  • Anonymous

    If I remember correctly, the big boys at Google bragged about the “beautiful hi-res picures” that show up in the new People app for Google ICS….  They need to adjust their stinkin’ servers…

  • Anonymous

    or rate Facebook as 1 star in the market and write “ALL YOUR BASE ARE BELONG TO DL”

  • Anonymous

    I guess we will have tobwait for the 4.0.3 update

    • Anonymous

      Google and Samsung messed it up with the Nexus.

    • Anonymous

      I said it about 2 months ago that Ill gladly wait until 4.1. 

  • Anonymous

    I like the last option:

    Everyone join Google+…NOW!

  • Anonymous

    Nothing works all low quality

  • http://www.facebook.com/aaron.lasley Aaron Lasley

    How about Google just fixes the issue to work with facebook photos and all social networks many use?

  • Zebra

    Turn off syncing is your solution to fix hi-res syncing? Yea, that make sense…

  • RW-1

    Getting the high res pic is only the half of it.

    We need to learn how to crop that pic for the larger vesrion to show what you want on it when it’s like the display above…

  • -= )v(urphy =-

    Another app is called SyncMyPix, been using it for awhile now.

    • Hep

      I just started using this the other day.  Works great, but the quality still isn’t completely high res on the Nexus.

      • http://twitter.com/belogical2 Be Logical

        yeah, mine is pretty low res, i like the app, but not the res.

      • Anonymous

        It was overrated lol

      • Anonymous

        There are tweeks in settings that help. Turn off the 96pix cropping and set to high res.

  • NexusIsBestus

    All my contacts on Facebook uses their stupid kids faces as their contact picture.  Pisses me off.  Last time I synced with facebook, my contacts list looked like a pedophiles dream phone.

    • Anonymous

      HAHAHAHA

    • Anonymous

      The Galaxy Nexus is a pedophiles dream phone?

    • Lavi

      So right…

  • Anonymous

    How is this possible? The “G-Nex” was supposed to be perfect and have no issues at all.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=25001493 Hank Godwin

       Oh just stop.  You’re acting like a child.

      • Anonymous

        Maybe they need to unlock their bootloaders. I head that quintuples battery life and increases signal strength by 500% and makes the camera take good pictures…oh and fixes the issue of random reboots, bootlooping when you leave wi-fi on and excessive heat around the camera. 

      • Guest

        he is!!! he’s a worthless cum sucking loser!

    • Anonymous

      Yes…because hi-res syncing is a hardware issue.

      Do you even read what you type?

      • Anonymous

        Just as much as iNexus fanboys do. No more no less. 

  • Anonymous

    Still pissed that Google lauded their new “social API” platform and all that…and still won’t let Google back into syncing contacts for the Galaxy Nexus. This wouldn’t be an issue for 95% of my contacts if I could sync with Facebook…

    • Keith Sumner

      Yes, but moving forward here friend, Google has their own social network, so it would not make sense any longer to allow the syncing of an android device directly with facebook contacts.

      • Anonymous

        Google also has their own market with books (yet allows Kindle, Nook, etc), music (yet allows Amazon MP3) and apps (yet allows Amazon, GetJar, etc), messenger (yet allows yahoo, msn, etc)…just for example… I know they’re trying to push Google+, but one of the main reasons I love Google (and Android specifically) is openness…and this is the opposite of that. One of the reasons I hate Apple is that they lock down their system. This is a step in the wrong direction IMO. And on something that doesn’t really make them money, compared to the other marketplace apps that are allowed that do take money away from Google.

        • http://www.deathbycone.com Jared Kotoff

          google made special exception for facebook in the past. now they just want them to use the standard API. This will let FB information to be TRULY synced with our contacts. its really an upgrade in the end. its all up to fb to comply. nothing to do with locking down or pushing G+ over FB.

          • Anonymous

            Fair enough. If Facebook can go through the new API and do something similar (or better) than I’m fine with it. I guess I was just using old info from when they originally stopped them from syncing on the old nexus. Guess Facebook needs to get on the ball then.

          • http://www.deathbycone.com Jared Kotoff

            well, thats my understanding at least. and i sure hope im right.

        • Gspotman

          couldnt have said it beter my friend

          exactlyyyyyyyyyyyy what i was thinking

  • http://twitter.com/mfg68 MFG

    I’m going to try that. Thanks.

  • Anonymous

    i used both facebook app and friendcaster app to save photos to my device for contacts and they look great…turned off friendcaster syncing

    have not yet experienced them turning pixelated

  • http://twitter.com/swordstool Vinnie (Not Vince)

    My G-Nex is 0.1 ounces too heavy. Is there a fix for that yet? =p

    • Anonymous

      yes, drop the phone to chip some of the paint off and it’ll be .1 ounces less.

  • http://twitter.com/delrayser delrayser

    I used something from the Market called SyncMyPix which pulls hi-res FB profile photos into your Contacts. Useful since the Nexus seems to have dropped support for FB sync, but I still have all my FB contacts in Google from a previous import.

    • http://twitter.com/IInsley Isaac Insley

      same

    • http://twitter.com/belogical2 Be Logical

      i tried this with no luck, it only pulled in low res pics.

    • foreWard

      iirc, there is an option in the app to select high res images.

  • http://twitter.com/Kentholio B-rad G

    Friendcaster does have a sync option, but it doesnt seem to actually do anything.

    • Anonymous

      all my facebook friends profile pics turned up on their contact when i synced

  • http://twitter.com/mfg68 MFG

    Well, this is a non-fix…no offense. Turning off Google Sync won’t happen.

    • Anonymous

      I changed the picture for my girlfriends contact and left sync on. The picture has remained high resolution and I’m sure the contacts have synced since then as it’s been a couple days.

  • Derp

    I moved some pics onto the phone to use as contacts and they haven’t been compressed yet, its been a few days.  

    • Anonymous

      same here

  • Anonymous

    i’m having a problem getting one email account to give notification sounds and alerts in notificaiton bar. i got 3 accounts but only want alerts for 2 of 3. if i turn 1 off, all go off. if i turn all on, as expected, all alert. Any fix for that?

  • Adam Wiggins

    tl;dr version: You can’t really do anything about it.

  • http://www.twitter.com/slinky317 slinky317

    You can upload pictures to Picasa and then link them to contacts – it keeps them high def that way.

  • Bryant Alexander

    How do only show the contacts with phone numbers in my contacts list? Was able to do this on my OG Droid, but don see an option for it on the Nexus.

    • Kiril

      When you go into contacts, you can press the menh button, click on your account, and pick which labels to show. Select My Contacts, which was the default on the Droid.

    • Anonymous

      If you view contacts from the phone app instead of the “people” app, it should show only those with phone numbers.

    • http://twitter.com/kirilv Kiril

      Both my alter ego and whoever the other person is are correct. In “Phone”, under the contacts tab, it lists all the people in “My Contacts” label in Gmail — however in Phone, the contact is directly dialed, and it does not show you contact information when you click it. In “People”, all contacts are listen. However, both apps have the option in the menu that is “Contacts to display”, where you can customize which Gmail contacts labels display by default.

  • Earl Echols

    This is a real issue now that Google has decided to use huge contact pics. I dont understand why they did not address this before.

  • http://twitter.com/#!/USAFonz Fonnie Williams

    this is starting to turn into galaxynexus-life . com

    • http://profiles.google.com/babybybusta Andrew Thompson

      Until the other US carriers get it, it’s a Verizon device (at least in the US)

    • http://www.deathbycone.com Jared Kotoff

      really? theres like at least 5 of the last posts were not about the nexus.

      • Anonymous

        u can’t count bro?

        • Guest

          you a worthless fuucckking cum sucking loser bro??

    • Anonymous

       What would you expect. A Nexus is a prime android phone that is sent out for the very reason of being the best at the moment. The phone just came out this will continue for little while longer.

    • DroidzFX

      Well if the Droid brand wasn’t just used to sell phones we might have something better to talk about.

    • Anonymous

      Starting to?

      • Guest

        you a worthless fuucckking cum sucking loser??

    • Anonymous

      Stop your dang whining

      If Razr and Rezound had ICS this would be considered an ICS tip and not a Nexus tip. Since the G-Nex is the only phone with ICS then it is, by default, also a G-Nex tip.
      ICS is new and there are going to be a lot of questions and new tricks to find out. You are going to be seeing a lot of these. 

      So sit there with you Razr, Rezound, Bionic, etc… and be happy that you get these ICS tips while you wait for it to be released on your phone.

      • Anonymous

        u mad bro?

      • Anonymous

        Razr and rezound i the way to go. The radios on the nexus it is worse than the GS2. Come on Samsung give these idiots what they want.

      • Fynxsyndct

        This tip works for my fascinate. ICS rocks both my Samsung phones, nexus and fascinate.

    • Anonymous

      You didn’t notice Kellex actually changed the title of the site?
      Used to say “All about DROID Lineup of phones….” Now it says “An intense Android News Community” Yeah times are a changin’

      • Anonymous

        What’s your point? So because the subtitle of the site changed to “an intense Android News Community”, that means we should have expected a shift to all things Nexus? There is nothing in Android news except for Nexus news?

        • Anonymous

          Your comment does nothing but sound mad and trolling and I won’t be dragged into that. I merely correctly pointed out the title changed, and properly so as the focus on DROID will naturally broaden as many of has moved to a Nexus which is not a DROID lineup technically. Neither is the Thunderbolt and Rezound which is covered here, or the just posted Casio update. So really, what’s your point again, other than trying to start an argument with me? 

          • Anonymous

            Unlike you, I’m not an apologist for all things droid-life.com. This person voiced a legitimate point that this site has become dominated by G-Nex articles. For a site that brands itself as ‘droid-life.com’ and as “an intense Android News Community”, it sounds like a re-branding needs to occur. I merely didn’t follow how the change you noted signified a change to all things Nexus, and you replied by asking what my point was.

          • Anonymous

            Stop bitching and leave. Droid was an exclusive name for Verizon’s high end Android. Now, not all high-end Verizon devices are Droid branded. Droid-Life has always covered all things Verizon Android and some other high end non-Verizon things (I don’t see anyone complaining about them covering the Transformer Prime).

            Right now the Nexus is the hot phone with ICS. Don’t get butt hurt over it.

          • Anonymous

            u mad bro?

          • Anonymous

            It’s really not that funny, and you remind me of angelface when he runs out of legitimate points (that’s usually his first reply though)

          • Guest

            you a worthless fuucckking cum sucking loser??

          • Guest

            hey mc_faggit why don’t you stop coming here if you hate it so bad.  you are one to bitch when all you do is pollute all the threads with “u mad bro”  what a worthless fuucckking crying ass little bitch you are!!!  go find some guy’s diicckk to suck you worthless fuucckking cum sucking faggitt!!

          • Anonymous

            I love Casio, especially the watches :)

            I noticed the change in title too, we gotta change with the times!

          • Anonymous

            Exactly

          • Anonymous

            Razr rules period.

          • EC8CH

            When this site started is wasn’t even just about Droids, it was just about THE Droid. What does that prove? Time have been changing on this site from the beginning.

            It’s simple, Droid-Life covers Android news with an emphasis on devices that run on Verizon. It’s a shame some people can’t understand that.

            And guess what else, the latest devices are always going to get more posts, especially devices that are more developer friendly as this blog focuses on rooting.

            BTW, I got my G-Nex last Friday and have just finally unlocked it (been preoccupied getting my kid’s Christmas present from stop pooping on my floor).  When he whines in his crate I call him a bad little Mctypething.

          • Anonymous

            You have Mctypething on your mind while you spend time with your family lol shame on you.

          • Guest

            ……

          • Anonymous

            Thanks for your input. As usual, nobody cares. Go live your fantasy life and stop trolling my comments.

          • Guest

            ……

          • Anonymous

            I liked this because of the trip down memory lane I took because of your first sentence.

        • Anonymous

          Nexus has the same cheap build quality as nexus s and SG2.

          • Anonymous

            Motorola has the worst build quality and terrible radios. Everyone knows Samsung has the best radios and call quality, and their use of high quality plastic materials means their build quality is better then that of any Motorola device.

          • Anonymous

            lol that is why my razr has 4 bars and your nexus 1 maybe 2 lol. I just got a nice moto wideband from my cable company guess what, it is a moto modem keep them coming moto, you are the best all of time period. You are a chicken head and a loser.

        • Guest

          …..

        • Guest

          you a worthless fuuccking loser dick bro??

      • AOSP

        One thing that hasn’t changed is you knowing the definition of “A Google Experience Device”. I figured an “insider” like you would know what that actually meant instead of repeating what you read on forums. LMAO. Still think it has something to do with skins? Hahah, ROFL. I guess you know better than Andy Rubin. 

    • http://twitter.com/#!/USAFonz Fonnie Williams

      I’m just saying it would be nice if other phones got as much coverage. I get it that the GN is the new hot phone right now, but damn.. some of these news posts are starting to seem like FAQ’s better suited for the forums. Or maybe in just one big article perhaps.

      Seems like my comment upset a few of you. Don’t take it personal. ;)

      When I think of droid-life.com, I think of all android devices. not just “DROID” devices, or “Galaxy Nexus” posts. Well, at least I used to..

      • Anonymous

        It’s just Verizon and Android related news. Not specifically droid-branded devices.

      • Anonymous

        Just for the record on 8 of the last 25 articles have been nexus related. 1 was a joke Nexus notification and 2 were really posts about ICS that were worded to be about the Nexus and 1 was about a program that can be used on any phone. That equals 4 specific Nexus posts

        So 16% of the posts are about the hottest phone the other 84% are not. Is that really grounds to freak out?

        (BTW I’m not just singling you out, I’m speaking more in General)

  • http://profiles.google.com/gogatsbj Bradley Gogats

    until other apps start using the new social APIs this will keep happening

    • Zebra

      Who’s uses facebook anyway? The vast majority.

      • http://profiles.google.com/gogatsbj Bradley Gogats

        what I said was you are missing out on some amazing integration, the bottom line is this, Google wants you to use Google+ and they have built ICS to push you there, the platform integration will not be matched by anyone else.  Hell you can video chat on Google+ on your mobile, 24 months ago you could barely post to facebook

    • Anonymous

      Understood.  However, while I would love to get rid of Facebook and just use G+ most others aren’t jumping on the (better) bandwagon.   Unfortunately, many people I know and like to keep in touch with (and let’s face it, many of us are in the same boat) use iphones and have no clue what I’m talking about – nor will they ever unless Apple tells them what to do/use.  

  • http://twitter.com/savvasdalkitsis Savvas Dalkitsis

    That was the most useless tips post ever! :P

    • Anonymous

      Agreed, there was pretty much nothing of worth there other than “try friendcaster”. If you’re going to manually assign pictures, you should just leave sync on, google doesn’t override your assignment.

      • http://www.ellianth.com Ellianth

        It will override your photo. It may not do it today, but one day while it’s syncing you’re gonna find a bunch of low resolution photos on your device. And, then you’re gonna have to set every contact picture by hand, again.

        If you switch devices, you’ll have to do it by hand again too.

      • http://www.facebook.com/mwcallan Michael Callan

         Or if you actually use your GNex and change your ROM often enough, you’ll have to do it manually – again.

    • Anonymous

      u ungrateful bro?

      • Guest

        you a dick bro??

    • Anonymous

      Be happy about the post! It is about the Nexus after all, I still need more of them even after buying the device!

      • Anonymous

        Nexus= failure

        • babadush

          Your existence = failure

          • Anonymous

            You failed your family.

          • Guest

            ….

    • Anonymous

      “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” – Thomas Edison

      Droid-Life is just providing information on what they have tried and on what the current work around (whether it is useful or not) is at the moment. I appreciate that now I know I don’t have to do the same thing they did only to get the same results.

      • http://pau.lc Paul Chambers

        Right on man! Keep that positive vibe alive!!

    • http://twitter.com/savvasdalkitsis Savvas Dalkitsis

      Everyone chill. I assume you all know what this is >>> :P