How to associate – and update – contact photos on your smartphone

Often, if a contact changes profile picture on social media or on his smartphone, we continue to see the old one. Now there is an app that automatically replaces it

If there is a special place in the heart for those simple tools that solve annoying problems, surely the new Vignette app deserves a session of honor. The new app is focused on doing one thing well: finding photos of our contacts by analyzing their social profiles and updating them accordingly .

Many people don’t bother adding a photo when they activate their iOS account for the first time. The iOS Contacts section directs you to the photo library, when you want to find an image to add to a contact, but adding a photo tends to be something that people do only for close friends and family . After all, most people don’t take photos of colleagues, clients or work colleagues on their iPhone.

But this also means that often when we receive a call from a contact saved without a photo, the gray dot appears with the initials of the caller, instead of a nice colored image. Of course, this is a minor problem, but it can have an impact on people with large networks – like those who interact with a wide range of customers, for example.

Also, those gray dots are really ugly to see.

Vignette is very easy to use. The app will scan the selected fields among our contacts and find a match between the name and the avatar image used on social networks or emails. You can then choose to update every contact with the photo found by the app or, if there are more options, we can choose the one we prefer. Furthermore, it is not necessary to scan one contact at a time, but you can select all of them to update them simultaneously .

For those who are worried that the app does not find anything or that you find so few images not to justify the cost of $ 4.99, you can scan before committing to pay. But if you decide to proceed with updating the contact images you will need to purchase the app.

There are other such tools for managing contacts, but they tend to require the user to authenticate with the network in order to insert the content. Vignette instead no. The app takes a privacy-based approach, it does not require the uploading of contacts to a server and only uses social media in an anonymous and non-invasive manner, without requiring access.

The independent developer who created this app, Casey Liss, said he already had some ideas in mind to improve Vignette in a short time. Among the possible next innovations, the detection of “duplicate” contacts and a better interaction with Facebook at the structure level. Liss also realized that many people would find an integration with LinkedIn also useful, but “this would require login, which we are trying to avoid at the moment,” he said.

Vignette was released over three months, and is now launched a few days before the annual Apple developer conference, with some revelations regarding updates to some apps, including Messaging.

The app is now around the blogs and news sites, including TechCrunch, 9to5Mac, MacStories, The Mac Observer and Cult of Mac.

The download of Vignette is free, but as we have said, in order to use the service it will be necessary to pay $ 4.99 in the App Store. For now, the app is only available in the United States.