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I’ve always said that BlackBerry OS 101 is the best mobile platform for communications and it turns out that some recent experiences confirm that is still the case today even with the latest and greatest smartphones.
My cousin texted me a couple of days ago asking if I could help fix a new issue with his Samsung Galaxy S6. All of his Facebook contacts were now missing from the contacts application. After testing various Android phones I found it wasn’t working for me either. It turns out that Facebook disabled contact syncing sometime over the past two months.
I always setup my Exchange, Gmail, and Facebook accounts for syncing contact data on my various devices. I rely on my Exchange and Google accounts for my contact list, but like when Facebook profile images and other missing data is filled in by Facebook. Facebook sync also lets me find friends who I don’t have in my regular contact list. If you now go into the Facebook settings on Android you will find that the Sync Now option is grayed out and no longer an option.
I searched in my contact list for contacts I know are only in Facebook and they no longer appear. Facebook support officially confirmed this change2 and a number of websites and forums have also confirmed the removal. Facebook stated, “Unfortunately, this feature is no longer available. If you would like to provide feedback to the product team about this, please visit our Help Center.”
There have been many suggestions about workarounds, such as installing older versions of the Facebook app, but in the end it looks like all methods eventually fail and Facebook contact sync can no longer be used. You can go into the Facebook app, search for a particular person, and then find their contact information on the About page, but that it a tedious exercise.
Hopefully, Facebook flips the switch back to provide this support, but if it has been two months without an update so I wouldn’t be too hopeful.
I have never had great experiences with iOS Contacts, primarily because of a lack of consistency in performance. There is still a Contacts sync toggle in the Facebook settings and you can filter your contacts by group, including Facebook, in the Contacts application. However, iOS seems to have a random selection process for which contacts appear from Facebook. I am missing a ton in the iOS Contacts app while there are about 30 present when I filter to just Facebook. There is also an option at the bottom of the Facebook settings to sync Facebook photos to your contact list, but again I only see that work for some contacts. I discovered the Sync.Me app a couple years ago and that does a much better job of syncing Facebook photos as contact photos.
So it appears that Facebook sync is still working for iOS, but it’s as unreliable and inconsistent as it has always been.
Windows Phone issues and successes
Windows Phone has always had Facebook integration at the core of the OS. I am running Windows Phone 10 on my Lumia 830 and am experiencing issues now with Facebook in my contacts list. I also tested out Windows Phone 8 on an HTC M8 to check Facebook contact functionality. On my Lumia 830 with Windows 10 I can see these Facebook only contacts in the People application, but when I tap on their name a blue screen (Facebook splash screen) appears and then I get kicked back out to the all applications screen. It appears Facebook contact syncing may be broken here as well, but I don’t have the official version of Windows 10 Mobile on a Lumia 950 so this failure could be the result of a buggy OS at the moment. I would be interested in hearing from those with a Lumia 950.
On the HTC One M8, Facebook contacts sync works perfectly and all of my Facebook only contacts appear and are fully accessible. It seems Windows Phone 8 is a solid platform for Facebook contact sync, even with the same Facebook app as Windows Mobile 10. I have Facebook version 8.3.7 installed on both phones.
BlackBerry OS 10 successes
I recently picked up my third BlackBerry Passport3 and Facebook contact syncing works flawlessly. All the contact details, latest profile photo, recent Facebook updates, and recent activity are all viewable right from within the Contacts application on the BlackBerry Passport. You can even start typing the name of the person at any time and quickly have their contact information appear in the universal search utility.
BlackBerry 10 OS remains the clear winner when it comes to efficient communications and this Facebook sync issue is just one example.
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A mobile phone which is believed to belong to a missing 15-year-old girl has been found in the area where she was last seen, police have said.
Officers investigating the disappearance of Kayleigh Haywood, who has not been seen since being dropped off outside a college to meet a friend on Friday evening, said the phone was discovered by a member of the public.
Detectives looking for the college student have cordoned off a house and the entrance to a park after arresting two men in connection with her disappearance.
The student, from Measham in Leicestershire, had arranged to stay
As French authorities1 attempt to piece together the set of events that led to the horrific attacks in Paris on Friday evening, witnesses and survivors have been sharing their harrowing accounts from various locations across the capital.
Mark Colclough, a 43-year-old psychotherapist was with a colleague on Rue de la Fontaine when he witnessed a gunman attack a caf . In a disturbing account, published in the Guardian2, Mr Colclough said: We were about 20 metres away from the cafe when we heard a firecracker and I looked around and I could see a man, maybe 185cm tall, and the position made it clear he was shooting.
He was standing in a shooting position. He had his right leg forward and he was standing with his left leg back. He was holding up to his left shoulder a long automatic machine gun I saw it had a magazine beneath it.
Everything he was wearing was tight, either boots or shoes and the trousers were tight, the jumper he was wearing was tight, no zippers or collars. Everything was toned black
He killed three or four individuals who were sitting in the chairs in front of the cafe. We saw them get shot down. They fell off their chairs onto the ground. One man, known only as Sylvestre, told French media that his mobile phone saved his life during the attack outside Stade de France. The man was pictured moments after the event still holding his Samsung mobile phone which had a smashed screen and a dent in one side. He said to iTele3: “This is the cell phone that took the hit, it s what saved me. Otherwise my head would have been blown to bits. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone.”
The radio presenter, Pierre Janazak, was sitting on a balcony with his sister and friends when they heard shots from below about one hour into the concert by US rock band Eagles of Death Metal. He told the news agency AFP: At first we thought it was part of the show but we quickly understood they didn’t stop firing. There was blood everywhere, corpses everywhere. We heard screaming. Everyone was trying to flee.”
Janaszak and his friends hid in a toilet where they would spend the next two hours waiting for police to storm the building and rescue the survivors. Around 80 people are believed to have died in the assault. He added: “They had 20 hostages, and we could hear them talking with them “I clearly heard them say ‘It’s the fault of Hollande, it’s the fault of your president, he should not have intervened in Syria’. They also spoke about Iraq.”
A reporter for France s Europe 1 radio station described the 10 horrific minutes when black-clothed gunmen opened fire. He said: “It was a bloodbath people yelled, screamed and everybody lying on the floor, and it lasted for 10 minutes, 10 minutes, 10 horrific minutes where everybody was on the floor covering their heads.”
“We heard so many gunshots and the terrorists were very calm, very determined and they reloaded three or four times.
“People started to try to escape, to walk on people on the floor and try to find the exits, and I found an exit when the terrorists reloaded their guns. I climbed on the stage and we found an exit. The Europe 1 journalist said he took a teenage girl who was bleeding heavily and carried her to a taxi, telling the driver to take her to hospital.