If you are a Nexus One or Nexus S user, then today brings some interesting news. Google is pushing out Gingerbread version 2.3.3 today, but only for the aforementioned Nexus devices. It brings with it several new features, including full support for the NFC chip in the Nexus S.
It also comes with a peculiar feature change that only affects the Nexus S and other "lead devices" for now; it disables the contact sync feature in Facebook. Basically, Google is attempting to push Facebook into making their contacts data available to Google, and is being more fair in the process. Other apps currently have to use Android's contacts API. Google has this to say about it,After Engadget's further inquiry, Google explained that they are simply re-enforcing their own official rules. Apparently, Facebook was granted a "free pass" that allowed its contacts to remain in the cloud. Ultimately, this is the same thing that would happen if you uninstalled the app, or deleted your Facebook account. Any of your contacts that were created and stored in the network will no longer be visible on your smartphone. It makes sense that Google would want access to the gold-mine of marketing data they would receive from having access to Facebook contacts through Android; however, they are implementing their rules more fairly now, which makes it hard to point any fingers at them. What do you guys think?We believe it is very important that users are able to control their data. So in the over-the-air update for Nexus S, we have a small change to how Facebook contacts appear on the device. For Nexus S users who downloaded the Facebook app from Android Market, Facebook contacts will no longer appear to be integrated with the Android Contacts app. Since Facebook contacts cannot be exported from the device, the appearance of integration created a false sense of data portability. Facebook contact data will continue to appear within the Facebook app. Like all developers on Android, Facebook is free to use the Android contacts API to truly integrate contacts on the device, which would allow users to have more control over their data. We are removing the special-case handling of Facebook contacts on Nexus S and future lead devices. 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 as well.
Source: Android.net via Engadget