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! πŸ˜€

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! πŸ™‚
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. πŸ™‚

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. πŸ™‚
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. πŸ™‚ Doesn’t it make managing contacts more convenient? To me, it actually does! πŸ˜€

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. πŸ™‚ So you can choose to Dump the Timescape’s Facebook and Twitter Plugin from Phonebook. πŸ˜‰

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. πŸ˜€ 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! πŸ™‚
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! πŸ™‚ 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! πŸ™‚

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

    1. Yes, I agree! But thats the Problem with Android in general. BTW, Edit Contact and tap the Timescape Facebook Pic and set it as Contact Picture. It would be better than the Official Facebook App, but still not acceptable.

  1. I’m actually currently having a nightmare with this social phone book. It’s correct in finding my contacts across my phone book gmail, and facebook, but it will have 3 of the same phone numbers for the same person, and duplicate emails =\ it’s a mess.

    1. I guess you didn’t read the article properly! Tap the Group Icon at the Top Left and then select which contact to show in Your Address book. For Example, Tap Facebook & uncheck the All Contacts. Do this for all other Which are having duplicate contacts. I guess you used the BackUp and Restore app. And your Gmail is also synced with it. So, Either Uncheck the Phone Contacts or Gmail Contacts to be viewed in the Phonebook.
      Plus Open your Gmail and go to contacts, select all contacts and then Go to Options and select Find and Merge Duplicate Contacts. This should solve all your problems. πŸ™‚

      1. You’re right that I used SE’s back up and restore app, but i’d long disabled google’s auto sync long ago due to the terrible picture quality. But my issue isn’t duplicate contacts but duplicate information. Basically I ended up deleting my Gmail contacts, synced it, deleting it on my phone.

        Doesn’t help much though cause it will still show duplicate info from skype, facebook.. =\ this app is just another SE nightmare. And absolutely no way to edit how contacts are joined. I mean if a person has the same number on skype, facebook, and my phone you would think the app will merge them? It also doesn’t recognize facebook email, classifies it as ‘other’ and you can have a person’s real name merged with their facebook Alias, otherwise it will go with that… and picture quality could be better..

        πŸ˜€ Ok done ranting now, just gonna suck it up and swallow it like I’ve been doing for the phone..

      1. Thanks for the tip.

        Is there any app like this for Linkedin??

        When I join two contacts it picks one of the names of those contacts. Is there a way to choose which one I want??

      2. I didn’t find any Official or Third Party app that does the job for Social Phonebook. Hope it comes out soon.
        Anyways, That is what i didn’t like in the Social Phonebook on my Xperia X10. It doesn’t give us any option while joining Contacts like what to sync, and which ones to keep as default. It doesn’t even merge phone numbers, email id’s pulled from different social networking sites even though they are same-creating duplicate copies of same info in the Contact Details. Extremely frustrating to me! πŸ™

  2. Yeah…even I m having the same problem…i sync contacts with gmail facebook,and facebook app,sd card…now I haveing same number 4 times and 2 facebook updates..:-( …

  3. I have some problem relating phone lag and battery. Any solution?

    1) After update to 2.1, I experience serious lag (not always). When listening to song, the song become jerky, keep pause momentarily like 0.5secs everytime.
    And the lag is damm serious, open any app will take a minute or so, and tap the screen one more time then the app will become not responding. And I noticed the phone is very hot, around 52degree. So I stop using and let it cool down, when it’s about 41degree, it’s still lagging a lot but not that much. However when it’s not lagging, the phone is very fast, everything is very smooth. FYI : I using LauncherPro Plus with 4 homescreen and using normal wallpaper.

    2) My battery percentage will drop even though I charging and using at the same time. I was playing games when charging. Before I charge my phone, it’s around 42% but after around 1hr, I exit my game and realised it’s still charging and the battery drop to 18%. Why will the battery drop even though I charging. Anyway I charging use laptop so maybe that the problem. But however sometime I still experience same thing (not always) when I charging using power supply but it’s not that serious compared to this. It will drop from 70% to 62% before rising to 100%. However most of the time it will just raise normally using power supply. But using laptop, most of the time, it will drop when I using at while charging. When I not using, sometime the battery percentage will stay at 87% for an hour or so but normally it will raise slowly.

    1. That is really strange! I will advise you to empty your battery to zero percent and let the phone turn off by itself completely draining the battery and then remove the battery for 10 mins. Reinsert and charge the phone for around 14-16hrs, keeping it turned off using mains power not laptop. It should solve any battery issues for sure. And if theres any app that causing the battery to drain so fast, i would also suggest you to do a factory reset as well if possible.

      1. Okay thanks for the advice. Since SE give an extra battery and a external battery charger, so i can charge the fully drained battery using the battery charger and insert the extra battery to my phone and continue using my phone right?

  4. Thanks for the comprehensive review

    But I have a question, I usually have my friends listed under their nicknames but when I link them to their facebook account their names that is displayed on facebook overwrite the name I have on my phone.
    For example when I have my friend listed under the name NOOB but his facebook page list his real name. The name on facebook replaces NOOB on my phone.

    I checked his phone contact page and it only has NOOB listed under his name and no sign of his facebook name in it. Is there a way to avoid this?!!

    1. Not yet! That is the most annoying thing for me in this Update! πŸ™
      Anyways, there is a workaround, you can separate those contacts and then rename the facebook contact with the name you wish to have and then join them. Social Phonebook won’t have anything else to display then having both the names same. πŸ™‚

    1. You can not edit Facebook info using Social Phoenbook. But theres a workaround, Split contacts that have been joined by Social Phonebook in Xperia X10 and then Find the Facebook contact in your phone. ( Remember to check all contacts in facebook in View Contacts screen by tapping at the group icon at the top left of the Phonebook screen ). And after you find your Facebook contact, edit it with the name you want and then join them. πŸ™‚
      [ Edit ] : Sorry, but this workaround doesn’t work with this update. Theres absolutely no way to rename contacts as of now, at least not known to me! πŸ™ Will try to find out though!

  5. Hi Manish, another strange thing is that even though the phonebook syncs all the pics from these sites, these pics are not displayed in the recent calls widget.

    This is the same story for downloadable widgets, I found that in the launcherpro icons (paid version)- the contacts widget does not show the profle pictures there are only the generic pics in their place.

    Do you know a workaround for this problem?

    Keep up the good work, would be interested to hear what you think of the gingerbread release as well as the honeycomb preview on the new tablets.

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