Review-Social Phonebook on Xperia X10 with Eclair,Android 2.1-Automagical Experience

There are a lot of changes in Xperia X10 with the Android 2.1 Eclair update, but there are some major changes that might make your life simpler. If you have already upgraded to Android 2.1 on your x10 then you must have noticed that almost everything has been changed. One of the main changes is the Social Phonebook. This is not a phonebook anymore! As the name suggests it’s Social.

These days it’s not only about your phone contacts! Your contacts are everywhere, on twitter, Facebook, Google Mail, Picassa,etc. So just having their phone no in your Phonebook is so ages old. You got to have their Facebook username, twitter profile address and similar in your Phonebook as well. I mean just like phone numbers these Social Addresses are now important parameters to contact a person. With the moto of converging all your communication at one place with UXP ( User eXperience Platform ) on Xperia X10 devices, they made another significant addition to the UXP-Social Phonebook.
Social Phonebook does exactly what i explained, it converges all your contacts from Facebook, Twitter, Google Mail, Picassa & Others into one place-thats your Phonebook ( with phone numbers ofcourse ). And guess what, it does everything behind the scenes-Automagically! You just need to signup on your different accounts like Facebook, Twitter, Google Mail, Picassa & others and the rest is done by the Social Phonebook at the background. It pulls contents from Facebook, Twitter, Google Mail, Picassa & Others and merges them together and even shows the present online status in the Phonebook with a recent status update that your contact did at Facebook or Twitter. Does it sound nice? Okay read on theres plenty more to make it sound nicer and even awesome! 😀

When you first run the phonebook, you’ll get an welcome screen with options to sync your data with online services like Google Mail, Facebook, Twitter & Others or you can sync your data locally from Sim Card or Memory SD Card ( VCard format ). Or you can simply open the phonebook and do these stuff later or if you decide to input contacts manually. Pretty straight forward i guess! But things start to simplify once you sync your data over the air using online sync.
And if you already did a restore of contacts using Backup services you’ll then just need to setup online services so that all your contact data from Social Networking sites like Facebook & Twitter can be synced to that one place. I also synced my contacts using BackUp and restore and i simply couldn’t find any contacts in the phonebook. I thought it would be a bug with the last version of BackUp & Restore App as it also warned me to take a backup from new BackUp & Restore app at the time of upgrading to Android 2.1, Eclair from SEUS. But later, after playing with some settings i found that my phone contacts was unchecked in the settings. Will tell you about it later.

So once you’ve setup the whole thing on your Social Phonebook, you would expect it to sync status updates, Display Pics and also some other data like Phone number, Email addresses from Twitter and Facebook. And it does so leaving behind a few of your contacts who doesn’t have the same name on those sites as on your phonebook. You can manually join them by long pressing a contact in the phonebook and selecting from the suggested Contact or the whole contact list. I like the Suggested contact while you are linking as it saves me a lot of time. Like if i need to join a contact whose first & Second name is in my contact but he uses only his first name at Facebook,then sugestions at the joining contact page would make it easier to find him?
Most of my contacts were automatically joined and now I can,
– See their Facebook or Twitter Display Pic on my Phonebook as their Contact Pic
– See their most recent Status update just below their name
– Google Talk Online Status besides their name in the Phonebook

I was skeptical about which display pic should it use from the Facebook or Twitter as not always all my contacts have same Display Pic on their Facebook and Twitter. So if i want to keep a specific Pic either from Facebook or Twitter, i should have an option for it! I have used other Phonebook apps that syncs data from Online services like Facebook and Twitter but they always updated the display pic from the last one synced. Social Phonebook provides me an option for that! 🙂
When in Contact editing page, i can long press the pic i want to use as contact picture in the phone and set it as Contact Picture.

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Yes, to talk about contact editing screen, the texts are larger and you can comfortably add numbers or click them which is a good addition in comparison to what it was on Android 1.6, Donut. And when you’ve synced data from any online service, you get a separate profile for it on the same page one after another. So, incase you think Social Phonebook did join a two wrong contacts, you can easily separate them without affecting any contact. Just press the menu button while in Contact Editing Screen and you have the option of separating them. 🙂

And then the other thing is with multiple accounts you can have different accounts synced to your Phonebook and you can easily filter them as well. 🙂
Like If i save a contact of Gadgets | Technology Simplified on my Google Mail and theres another Contact at my office on my exchange account then i can have both synced to my phone and i can easily filter them on Google Mail or exchange mail.
Theres a Group Icon at the top left of the Phonebook Screen and tapping to it brings me to the Accounts & Filter Options. I can choose to display contacts
– Only from my Phone, Facebook, Twitter, Exchange Mail, Google Mail, or anything for that matter
– Or a combination of some of them like ” Facebook + Twitter + Google Mail ” or ” Excahnge Mail + Facebook ”
– Or a combination of all of them
– Only Online Contacts in Google Talk
– Only Contacts having Phone Number

When i say i can have Contacts synced from Google Mail or Exchange Mail, i mean i can also sync with multiple accounts. Like In Google Mail, if you have two Gmail Accounts ( one for work and one for personal use – not everyone uses fake multiple IDs ), you can choose to display all the contacts from both of them or any combination of them. Since Google Mail provides you with Creation of Groups, you can also choose to sync or display only a particular group or all of them. 🙂 Doesn’t it make managing contacts more convenient? To me, it actually does! 😀

And Lastly the Plugin Options! I constantly stated that it syncs data to online services like Facebook, Twitter, Google Mail, Picassa and Others. If you go to phone settings you can only find setting these accounts on your phone and hence you can only sync data to these online services? Right? Sorry, Wrong!
Phonebook has been built in to support some extensions as well. Like you can figure it out from the screenshots that i’ve account set up for WhatsApp as well. So, if you have any favorite Social Networking Site that you want to be synced with your Phonebook then this is the best solution out there. Although there are no certain online services defined that you can sync with but it works for a few of them. Plus it also sync contacts from messengers like WhatsApp! Didn’t work for Skype on my Xperia X10. I guess it only imports the contacts from apps that uses Phonebook from Stock Android API’s.
It works for
– Official Facebook App
– Official Twitter App
– Official WhatsApp

So I guess, if you have an official App from your Social Networking Site, it should work with this Social Phonebook. The Integration seems to be amazing. Like the Twitter and Facebook Official App pulls out more info from Facebook and Twitter than the Timescape Twitter and Facebook Plugins. The Official Apps pulls Emails, Phone Numbers, etc with Display Picture and Status Updates. So this sounds more convenient solution to me than the Timescape Plugins. But that also makes two copies of Facebook and Twitter Contacts if you choose to display all Contacts from each of them in the ” View Contacts Screen ” i described above! A Simple Solution to this is to turn off the View Contacts from Twitter and Facebook Timescape Plugins and enable them in Facebook and Twitter Official Apps.
Another Benefit of this is that you get a Quick Access button to Facebook & Twitter Profiles from Quick Access Bar. Quick Access bar appears when you tap on the Display pic of a contact anywhere in the system. 🙂 So you can choose to Dump the Timescape’s Facebook and Twitter Plugin from Phonebook. 😉

I haven’t encountered any problems with the Social Phonebook on my Xperia X10 yet. The only annoying thing to me is that it joins contacts and assigns the name of the contact on it’s own. Like if i have a contact with different names on my phone and facebook. Phonebook doesn’t provide me an option to choose which contact name to use in my phonebook. ( Or i haven’t figured out how to do it yet! ) It assigns on it’s own and is really frustrating when my friends use some stupid names at Facebook or Twitter. Let me know if you find a solution to this.
Another thing that might not please everyone is no Smart Dialer built in. I like the theme of the Phonebook and my X10 so much and those third party Smart Dialers are simply too ugly to match with it!

I’m more than pleased with the new Social Phonebook and i don’t think theres any other alternative to it or anyone does it better. And with the Contact Details screen-the Infinity View, having all your messages, mails, sms, Pics, Facebook & Twitter Updates at the same place makes it priceless. It’s Completely an Automagical Experience. 😀 To Sum up this long review lets have the Pros & Cons

What I Liked :
———————-
– Social Integration with Twitter, Facebook, Google Mail, Picassa & Others
– Automatic Joining of Contacts with Facebook, Twitter & Google Mail
– Easy Separation of Contacts without affecting any of the joined contacts
– Multiple Mail Accounts Sync
– Contact Details Screen – Infinity View
– Suggestions while Manually Joining Contacts to Facebook, Twitter or Others
– View Options – Filter what contacts you want to see in your Phonebook
– Plugin Options – Integrates seamlessly with Official Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp.
– Speed
– Theme and Font Sizes
.

What I didn’t Like :
——————————-
– No in-built Smart Dialer
– No Options while joining a contact

And if you haven’t heard of this Trick to get 3D Gallery on your Rooted Xperia X10 with Android 2.1, Eclair, then read it now! 🙂
Let us know what do you feel about the Social Phonebook on your Xperia X10! Or share if you have any Trick or tip to get more out of our Social Phonebook. Feel Free to let us know know your Opinion about the same in the comments section! 🙂 Stay tuned for further updates on Android 2.1, Eclair for Xperia X10 and more reviews plus some tips and tricks. Do Join us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just updated your Xperia X10 to the Latest Android 2.1 Firmware and need some new apps,
Must Have Top 10 Apps for Xperia X10 after Upgrading to Android 2.1, Eclair-Part 1

Must Have Top 10 Apps for Xperia X10 after Upgrading to Android 2.1, Eclair-Part 2

And, if you are Looking for Top 10 Best Android Apps for your Xperia X10 or another Android Phone, visit the link!

Also you shouldn’t miss the Top 20 Free Android Apps for your Xperia X10.

For Best Games for android Xperia X10, visit this Link! 🙂

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