Hands-On: HaxSync fills your phone book with high-res contact photos [VIDEO]


Now, I don’t know if it’s just my OCD talking, but when it comes to my Android device, one thing that really gets under my skin is a blurry contact pic. You know the images you’ve set for your friends and family on your phone? Yeah, those. Most of us have set them on a device long ago, and since then, they’ve been forever synced to Google’s cloud. Sure, you can manually set each individual pic by taking a picture of every single person in your phone book, but then again, you also have Halo 4 to complete. Not to mention that when these contact images sync with Google’s server (pre-Jelly Bean), it’s going to squeeze that image down to the size of a postage stamp, and blow it up every time that person calls you. Sounds like a silly thing to worry about, I’m sure, but it bugs me to no end and I’m sure it bugs some of you too.

Not too long ago, Google attempted to combat this “problem” by automatically incorporating high res Google+ profile pics directly into your contacts. There’s only one problem — your contact actually has to be on Google+ (and let’s be honest, no one is using that thing). For Jelly Bean devices, Google has finally squashed this issue, but therein lies the problem: you’ll need to actually be running Android 4.1+ and according to Google’s latest stats, most of you aren’t. Of course, you could always go the official Facebook route to sync contact images, but even then the pics aren’t that high res and a bug in the application will add every single acquaintance from your friends list onto your device. So, unless you wanted that one person you used to go to middle school with in your phone book, the official Facebook app isn’t a viable option. Does this mean that some of us are forever doomed to an existence of muddy friends and pixelated family members? Not at all. There’s always HaxSync.

HaxSync is an application in the Google Play Store that works much the same way that the official Facebook app was supposed to work. It takes high resolution 720×720 photos of your friend’s Facebook profile pics and syncs them to your phone. Simple, yes. But that’s not all. HaxSync can also sync calendar events, notify you of friends birthdays, and display their Facebook status updates straight from your phone book. It’s pure genius.

To further illustrate how well HaxSync works, here’s a before and after of my ex-gf, Chasity. I don’t talk to her anymore because she’s a lying $#%@&, but she’s still my friend on Facebook. And that’s just how Facebook works. In the before image, she was a muddied image of her nieces from an official Facebook sync gone wrong. The image is so blurry, quite honestly, it might not even be her nieces at all. Who knows. The after, however, is leaps and bounds better. There she is at the top of some random hotel in Vegas, in search of a baby daddy and apparently imitating a duck. Now, there’s the Chass I know (psssst, call me!).

Before and After

HaxSync just saw an update today that aside from bugfixes and performance enhancements, adds a handy setup wizard upon installation and the ability to sync your Facebook contact pics over your Google account. Awesome. Oh, and for the 2.7% of you guys on Jelly Bean, there is now a separate app from the developer that fixes a few problems caused by Google’s new app encryption. While stock Jelly Bean finally syncs high-res photos (thanks, Gmail team!) you still gotta go through the pain of manually applying them to every single one in your phone book, and ain’t nobody got time for that.

[Play Store Link: HaxSync | Jelly Bean Workaround]

Chris Chavez
I've been obsessed with consumer technology for about as long as I can remember, be it video games, photography, or mobile devices. If you can plug it in, I have to own it. Preparing for the day when Android finally becomes self-aware and I get to welcome our new robot overlords.

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  1. Android already fixed this issue. At least stock Android. If you set your own contact pictures for your contacts and then if you ever have to refresh your phone or anything it loads those same pictures back up high res automatically now. They started this with Jellybean I believe.

    1. Kinda hard to explain but it doesn’t stick. If you set a high res image on anything but Jelly Bean it wont stay when/if you factory reset or get a new device. It goes right back to low res.

      It’s a Gmail problem and until they fix it, the only thing syncing to Google’s servers is a tiny 96×96 image :/

      UPDATE: Looks like Gmail syncs higher res now, but only displays on Jelly Bean devices, not Ice Cream Sandwich or below. Lame.

        1. Holy crap. They actually did it. I didn’t know they had it’ in ’em. :O

          Too bad it’s Jelly Bean only :/

          1. Yea, that’s what I was saying. I always root my phone and have to set it back up and everything reloads by itself.

          2. So awesome. Google should have done this YEARS ago! :)

  2. This is probably the best article I’ve ever read. Hahahaha nice one Chavez

  3. I just saw her picture,

    and this is crazy,

    but could I get Chastity’s number
    and call her maybe?

    1. I just knew this was going to be the first comment.

  4. I LOL’d.

  5. been using hax sync for ages – great program, latest update is good :)

  6. Classic (and ironic) stripper name…love it!

  7. Great Article Dude [funny]

  8. I wish there was a way to do this WITHOUT fb as I don’t use it [I hate it – the older I get the more anti social i get]

    1. I second that..I’m 27 and I can do without FB

  9. …So you HAD to call your ex to show off the app? Sorry Chris, but that just seems a little suspiciously desperate… “Oh, hey Chastity, no, I’m NOT trying to win you back, I’m just, um… Showing off an app? Yeah, that. No, Chass DON’T hang– *sobs*”

  10. How come when I hit the call button above nothing happen

  11. I’ve been using this since I got my GNex about a year ago. I absolutely love it! One of the best apps I have ever purchased. I highly recommend.

    1. Agreed. Best dollar I’ve ever spent :)

      1. I’m sold. 0.99 euros deducted from my account. Now I just have to add a bunch of hot girls in bikinis as my facebook friends.

    2. The developer is great too, he’s fixed bugs I’ve found within hours of reporting them.

  12. So haxsync will turn your picture of two babies into a semi-hot chick(or not hot, I can’t tell, “mobile” is covering her face)?

    1. She’s duckfacing, so she’s definitely losing points.

  13. I’ve been using Hax Sync forever… Used it for when I had my Gnex… Couldn’t stand my contacts not being synced with Facebook. Great app… Even bought it when it went on sale

  14. Damn that looks like my sister.

  15. People actually use contact photos? Interesting….

  16. I know it’s only a dollar, but you can do it for free:

  17. I have a LOT more friends on Google+ than on Facebook even though I’ve had a Google+ account for a year and Facebook for 3 years.

    I don’t know about you but I like Google+ better, and I actually talk to the people on Google+ not like Facebook.

  18. Hey I now a guy who loves ducks and happens to live in Ontario! Hook him up

  19. This article was hilarious.

  20. How come my HaxSync doesn’t come with Chasity’s phone number?

  21. Nice one Chris, loved the ex girlfriend reference :-)

  22. Chasity lol

  23. Its one of the reasons I like HTC’s Sense, most people are on Facebook these days and as soon as you enter your details it syncs with your contacts (you can chose whether to sync with existing ones by default or add all friends) and uses their FB pictures as the contact pics.
    Works brilliantly.

  24. this work too (high resolution 720×720 photos), and it’s free

  25. HaxSync does not work with devices using Sense 4.0. My HTC One S gets even lower resolution images than it does from google and facebook. It’s a known bug but the dev has been unable to get around it.

  26. She’s at the Cosmo, dude.

  27. Lots of us actually use Google Plus, believe it or not. Much better interface than FB. Less Crayola than Facebook as well. Remember, MySpace used to be the shiznit as well. Then people woke up.

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