Fixing Blurry Contact Pictures on Android

While custom ROMs and manufacturer ROMs support full-screen contact pictures, the limitation of Google, basically, is that your contact pictures are synced at a ridiculously lower resolution – 96 x 96 pixels. While the limitation of Android 4.0 ICS is 256 x 256 pixels, the synchronized contact pictures are actually scaled down by Google. As a result, your phone ends up displaying a pixelated/blurry/smudged contact image. This is pretty evident when your contacts are synced back from Google after a factory reset or if you have switched to another Android device. This isn’t really going to bother actually, but it doesn’t seem good when your contacts have a blurry headshot, does it?

To solve this issue, the contact pictures have to be stored to a location on your SD Card and re-associated on every reverse sync, or have it synced privately to the cloud. Here are few apps that help solving this issue.

Contact Photo Sync is a very tiny app available at the Google Play Store that would sync your contact pictures to the cloud, and are synced back when you switch phones or if you had it factory reset. The app keeps a backup of your high-resolution contact pictures in your Picasa Web Album, under an album name ‘Android Contact Photos.’ After having the app installed on your phone, turn on the app-specific sync service from Settings > Accounts & Sync > Google Account Name > Sync Contact Photos. You will have to accept the notification requesting to grant access to Picasa Web Albums.

Further to it, if you have root access on your device, you’re in for a pleasant surprise. The app comes with a built-in GUI that lets you assign photos of up to 1500 x 1500 pixels with 95% JPEG quality that gets you a crispy contact picture. Pretty smart, indeed.

An alternative to Contact Photo Sync would be HD Contact Photos which supports a maximum of 400 x 400 pixels on a rooted device (256 x 256 otherwise) and the contact pictures are stored on to a customizable folder on your SD Card.