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Android 2.3.3 Gingerbread comes to Nexus One with WebM, disables Facebook contact sync

Google has pushed another minor update to its tandem of Android flagship phones, the Nexus One and Nexus S. Apart from officially rolling out Android 2.3 Gingerbread to the Nexus One nearly two months after it was released, the update also brings with it support for Google's WebM video container. Changes in Android 2.3.3 also include fixes for a random reboot issue on the Nexus S and additional NFC functionality -- most notably, the ability to modify rewritable NFC tags which can currently only be read.

The update has also put the kibosh on Facebook for Android's built-in contact sync. Previously, Google had allowed Facebook to leave users' contact data in the cloud and access them on demand. With the Android 2.3.3 update, Google seems to be sticking to its guns that contact data needs to be synced to the phone using Google's approved methods. That way, even if you uninstall the Facebook app, you'd still have access to your friends' contact info like email addresses and phone numbers.

Right now, this change only affects owners of the Nexus S and other "lead devices," as was explained to Engadget. Google's official statement on the change is after the break.

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.

Tags: android, android 2.3.3, Android2.3.3, facebook, gingerbread, google, mobile, nexus one, nexus s, NexusOne, NexusS, nfc, update