updated 10:05 pm EST, Tue February 22, 2011
Google freezes Facebook on Nexus S but updates N1
Google tonight both took away from Nexus S owners while upgrading the Nexus One. The company in a statement said the Nexus S and "future lead devices" would no longer have special integration of Facebook contacts. The company justified the cutoff through its ban on one-way data exports that the integration created a "false sense of data portability" for Facebook's info.
"We continue to believe that reciprocity 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," Google said.
It stressed that Facebook could still use the Android contacts programming interface to integrate its contacts and that the information, such as phone numbers, would still exist in the Facebook app. Nexus One owners also won't see the change since Facebook was built-in and expected.
The move is likely meant to underscore Facebook's continued policy of refusing to export data. Those at the social network have insisted that they were maintaining privacy by preventing contact export without the user's consent. Google, however, has argued that Facebook is disingenuous by gladly pulling in data from Google or other sources. Suspicions exist that Google is chiefly frustrated that it can't scrape Facebook contacts to target its ads.
Nexus S owners did get a promise of a 2.3.3 update that would get support to write NFC tags, not just read them, as well as add the ability to serve as an NFC hub of its own. The patch should also solve a frequent problem of random rebooting during calls.
Nexus One owners are now getting 2.3.3 as the first version of the updated OS for the phone, Google said. The update brings the more visually polished and more refined interface along with a solution to the random SMS bug. While the front camera and NFC support won't work, the update will bring better multitasking, more intuitive copy-and-paste text and built-in support for VoIP calling on SIP networks.