Where do contact pictures come from?

Discussion in 'iOS 7' started by seetheforest, Nov 29, 2013.

  1. seetheforest macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2010
    #1
    For the life of me, I cannot figure out how to control what picture is used as my contact picture on other devices.

    For example, in the Find My Friends app, I can see my own account picture. However, on my wife's device the picture is something completely different. It is a picture that I have used for accounts in the past, but it is neither my current Apple account picture or my Facebook picture or my current Google account picture (just assuming that's the other source of account pictures that Apple may be using).

    So my broad question is: where do the pictures for contacts come from?

    Specifically: How can I change/control what picture is associated with my account so it shows up correctly on other devices?
     
  2. Tyler23 macrumors 603

    Tyler23

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2010
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    #2
    She can change what picture shows up as your contact picture on her phone, just to go Contacts, your page, then click edit, click your picture and change it. You can't change what she seems as your contact picture on her phone from your phone, unless she's using Facebook contacts.
     
  3. seetheforest thread starter macrumors member

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    Dec 24, 2010
    #3
    Right, I know I can edit my own contact pictures. But how are those pictures populated in the first place?
     
  4. kolax macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2007
    #4
    It syncs your contacts with Facebook, and in the process pull down photos for friends that match your contacts. However, I've noticed it doesn't update new profile photos for friends unless I force a sync.
     
  5. dhlizard macrumors G4

    dhlizard

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2009
    Location:
    The Jailbreak Community
    #5
    You can manually place/select any photo you have for any of your contacts
     
  6. seetheforest thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2010
    #6
    Again, this is not what I'm asking. I'm asking where it gets the contact photos from in the first place and is there a way for me to get my picture to update on other devices.
     
  7. C DM macrumors Westmere

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2011
    #7
    People get then populated from various different places like Facebook or Twitter or previous contacts information they saved before or something similar. Once they have a picture set up for you for example you can't really change what they have set for you as it's something on their device. If they so some sort of sync with Facebook on a regular or occasional bais, for example, then perhaps you can update your Facebook profile photo and that would get populated as your contact photo in their contacts if they ever do a sync or update at some point.
     
  8. iapplelove macrumors 68040

    iapplelove

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    Nov 22, 2011
    Location:
    East Coast USA
    #8
    Nobody here understands your question but I do. And I wish I had an answer because about 6 years ago I used a photo for one of my first laptops as my contact photo and till this day even on idevices the same photo shows up on my contact. I believe it just gets synced though the years so at some point on some phone or computer you chose thst photo to be your own photo(that only you see on your device). I think you can change it on any device you own and it should change once your contacts sync.
     
  9. Troneas macrumors 65816

    Troneas

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2011
    Location:
    At the alternatives section.
    #9
    where do they come from?

    from the internet, that is where. facebook, google+, twitter, you name it.


    if you upload it, expect it to show up on someone's device. so you cannot control what picture shows up on other people's devices.


    on my phone, i can chose whether to use (or pull) someone's profile picture from a variety of different sources.

    sometimes you think you've removed all traces of a photo but you never know. recently i found out my g+ account was accumulating pictures i sent from hangouts app (apparently they remain private) but it goes to show that even using MMS apps your photos can end up anywhere.


    if you really want a particular photo to show on people's contacts make sure you use that same one everywhere - facebook profile, twitter, g+, and even your MMS profile photo. its not a guarantee but its a start. and then of course people need to bother to sync their contacts photos again - and many don't.
     
  10. dhlizard macrumors G4

    dhlizard

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2009
    Location:
    The Jailbreak Community
    #10
    People like me who detest Facebook place their photos into their contacts manually. As it is a personal choice, many users allow FaceBook to import social network contacts into their iDevice contact list, other do not.
    Using iCloud will keep the contact photos synced across all your iCloud enabled devices.
     
  11. uhaas macrumors 6502

    uhaas

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2012
    Location:
    Twin Cities, MN
    #11
    The photo comes from your wife's contacts.

    Contacts are a tricky thing, and she may have more than one contact list. I have a contact list for my phone's contacts, my Exchange server's contact photos, then outlooks social connector has linked in contacts, Facebook contacts, suggested contacts.

    As well, iPhone Facebook and Twitter apps can sync contact photos to any one of these contact lists.

    iOS is horrible in dealing with multiple contact lists, often picking the wrong contact from the wrong list for calls, calendar invites and other things. It's a design bug that could be fixed by selecting a default contact list, similar to the default calendar.

    It could be one or many of these affecting her phone. If you open contacts and select groups in the upper left, try selecting all lists, search for your name and then see which occurrence had the offending photo. Keep in mind that Facebook and/or twitter could change back what you do with a photo sync and make sure the photo you want is uploaded to that service as well.
     
  12. pumazooma macrumors member

    pumazooma

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2010
    Location:
    UK
    #12
    I seem to have a picture of a penguin on find my friends. I have no idea where it's come from. It's not my contact picture and I don't sync to facebook or twitter.
     
  13. seetheforest thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2010
    #13
    You are willfully ignoring the point of this post to construct your own narrative and rant. The point of this post is just simply to understand how contact list pictures get populated. The question is simple: if you don't sync to Facebook or Google, how are the contact list pictures populated?

    Exactly. There should be some transparent way for me to update my contact picture and have that propagate to other people's contact lists. Sadly it doesn't sound like this is possible and in truth the exact mechanism for how contact pictures are acquired seems very murky.
     
  14. Tyler23 macrumors 603

    Tyler23

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2010
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    #14
    There is no one contact picture for you. Your wife could set your contact picture in her device as one picture, a friend could set your contact picture in his phone as another. There is no universal, "seetheforest" contact picture. It varies contact to contact depending on which picture they have chosen to be your picture, which they can edit in their contact entry for you in their device. Unless they sync their contact info with Facebook (in which case it will use your profile picture), there is no way to control what picture they use for you on their device.
     
  15. mofunk macrumors 68000

    mofunk

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2009
    Location:
    Americas
    #15
    1. I've been using the photos in my Address Book for years. When the iPhone came out, what I had stored on my MBP Address Book was transferred to my iOS devices.

    2. Now everyone photos, Address book, etc is synced to their computers, so you will not see the same photos attached.

    3. If your friends sync their Contacts aka Address book to Facebook, the photo you used on your FB account will show up on their iOS device. Like someone said previous.


    Now to really answer your question …. going back to my first explanation. If you have been using a Mac for years, and maybe purchased a new one where you migrated the previous settings from the old Mac. Possibly the photo you used then is from there? I remember seeing on one of my friend's iPhone an old photo of my that I had used on my MBP. I no longer use it… Some how it is on their iPhone. I'm guessing the photo is attached to my user account with apple.

    You can go on your Mac, open Sys. Pref. and change the profile photo there. Then do it again in Address Book. Make sure you are on the screen that indicates "me" under the photo.
     
  16. dhlizard, Dec 3, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2013

    dhlizard macrumors G4

    dhlizard

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2009
    Location:
    The Jailbreak Community
    #16
    Previously answered - they don't unless you do so manually.
    And as advised by others, one has very little control over what image others chose to attach to your contact on their systems.
     

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