So the Palm Pre came out today, and I’m mainly jealous of one feature on the handset… Synergy. This is the system that takes in contact information from several sources (Google, Facebook, etc.) and merges it all into one comprehensive address book. The iPhone doesn’t handle contact information quite as gracefully, but today I set out to give myself some illusion of the functionality by finding a way to easily import Facebook profile pictures into my Address Book.
A quick Google search later I came across this DownloadSquad article pointing to the free application AddressBookSync. As DownloadSquad notes, there used to be an app called Facebook Sync that would import all information from Facebook contacts into the OS X Address Book, but it was pulled when Facebook cited Terms of Service violations. AddressBookSync doesn’t pull in much contact information, but it will import profile pictures, birthdays, and location from Facebook into matching names in your Address Book.
I installed the app and ran it and quickly synced 71 photos, birthdays, and locations to my Address Book, and subsequently, to my iPhone. I really love having images that my contacts personally picked to represent themselves pop up when I get a phone call from them. I hope that some day this type of functionality will be an over the air sync option inside of the iPhone itself. Until then, AddressBookSync is a fast manual way to make sure that Palm Pre users aren’t having ALL the fun.