Google Strips Facebook Friends from Android Contacts
In conjunction with the release of Android 2.3.3 Gingerbread for the Nexus S, Google has decided to enforce a policy it has in place regarding data portability. To-date, Android users who download and install the Facebook application will see their Facebook contacts integrated seamlessly with their Google Contacts on their device. This will no longer be the case on the Nexus S, which will maintain two separate contact databases — one for Google, one for Facebook. Google argues that because Facebook contact data isn't portable (meaning Facebook doesn't allow the data to be exported from Facebook to other devices/services), placing Facebook contact data on Android handsets was misleading to customers. By enforcing this policy, Google believes it is making it clearer what contacts are on the device, versus which are stored by third-party services in the cloud. In a statement, Google said, "We continue to believe that reciprocity (the expectation that if information can be imported into a service it should be able to be exported) is an important step toward creating a world of true data liberation — and encourage other websites and app developers to allow users to export their contacts." For now, this change applies only to the Nexus S, which Google calls a "lead device."
Google Contacts Gains More Editing Powers
Google recently updated the Contacts application for select Android devices and made it easier to edit contact details. Most significantly, Google expanded the app's availability from just Marshmallow to Lollipop.
Google Debuts 'Trusted Contacts' Personal Safety App
Google today made a new app available to Android devices that lets people share their location with others during emergencies. The app, called Trusted Contacts, simplifies the process of adding friends and family as emergency contacts.
Facebook's Events App Reaches Android Devices
Facebook has made its Events application available to Android handsets via the Google Play Store. Events By Facebook, released to iOS devices in October, lets users find and schedule things to do with family and friends.
Google Hangouts Improves Contact Design
Google this week updated its Hangouts app for Android devices and made a few performance tweaks along the way. Going forward, Google says it should be easier to find the right contacts quickly thanks to a reshuffled contacts user interface.
Facebook Messenger Brings SMS Back to Android App
Facebook today said Facebook Messenger users will once again be able to send SMS messages — as long as they're running Android. Essentially, Android users can set Messenger as the default SMS app, which will route all SMS messages and conversations through Messenger rather than any other SMS apps that may be installed on the device.