Android OS 2.3.3 Gingerbread Released for Nexus One, Nexus S; Facebook Contact Sync Revoked on NS

February 22, 2011 - Written By Maddi Hausmann Sojourner

Own a Google Nexus One and tired of smelling the cinnamon and spice but not getting any dessert?  Great news for you, and for Google Nexus S owners as well: The latest, greatest version of the Android operating system, 2.3.3, is rolling out over the air to all the Nexi.  The tweet above announces the news!

So what can you expect with your winter treat?  There are new NFC APIs that should enable the Nexus S to use the former with Bluetooth, sharing info with another device by tapping them together. This implementation should allow that NFC chip, via the Tags app, to write as well as read (writable) NFC tags, as well as act as if its an NFC tag itself (the screenshots above show all this).

And remember those Nexus S reboots that happened at the most inconvenient times?  Google has rolled out some fixes to those issues with this release as well.

Now, this update is going to bring you a fix to a problem you didn’t know you had, that is if by “fix” I actually mean “disabling a useful feature.”  Google has decided that Facebook’s integrating your Friends list into your contacts list isn’t playing nice with its contacts API.  What’s really happening is Google wants Facebook to share its data rather than continuing an exception that allows the Facebook app, and only that app, to keep its data in the cloud while everyone else has to do things the Google way.  So, if you have a Nexus S, this 2.3.3 update is going to revoke the “Sync friends with contacts” permission and your Facebook friend info won’t be in your contact database anymore.  Expect this new way of handling Facebook contacts to continue with other “new lead devices,” but the Nexus One should not be similarly affected.  According to Google,

“There will be no change in the way Facebook contacts appear on the Nexus One. Since the Facebook app was preloaded on Nexus One, it created an expectation for users of how the device would function.”

The Facebook info will still be there, of course.  You’ll have to go to the Facebook app to see it, though.  Interestingly enough, according to Tech Crunch it was Google who enabled the merger of Facebook and Android contacts in the first place… when the Nexus One shipped.

Sources: Engadgetmore Engadgetmore, Tech Crunch