Microsoft released the “Beta 2 Refresh” build (Build 7712) of their latest Windows Phone “Mango” OS to developers earlier this week. If you are a registered developer on App Hub and haven’t upgraded, you can check out the Windows Phone Developer blog post on how to do this (and remember to make a backup of your backup of your Windows Phone device!). This update finally brings Twitter integration to the People hub, as seen by many video demos around the web showing how this integration works.
By connecting Twitter to your Windows Live account on your phone, you will be able to view Twitter feeds in your What’s New feed in the People hub, reply or retweet to them, post a new tweet, as well as get any notifications of Twitter mentions in the Me tile. However, many users who upgraded to Build 7712 had been complaining that the Twitter (and LinkedIn) contacts are not synced with their contact list on their phone, no matter what they do. As a result, the Twitter feeds of your friends are showing up in their contact cards, and you can’t specifically view only the tweets from selected people by using the “groups” feature.
Fortunately, the guys at PocketNow.com figured out what had been the problem, and how you can fix this problem (although not ideal). To give a bit of context, it appears that the Twitter and LinkedIn contacts syncing issue originates from the previous build (Build 7661) released over a month ago, but unfortunately if you upgrade from Build 7661 to 7712, this bug carries over. So here’s the two ways in which you can get Twitter and LinkedIn contacts syncing with your contact list (do this at your own risk, as it will result in loss of data):
- Perform a hard reset: After you upgrade from Build 7661 to Build 7712, you will need to do a “hard reset” to get Twitter and LinkedIn contacts sync working. To do a “hard reset”, go to Settings > About > “Reset Your Phone”. This method will wipe all of your data from your phone and reset the phone to its factory settings (still with Mango Build 7712 installed), so be sure to backup your data first (i.e. backup music and pictures to your computer, sync your Office documents, contacts, emails to the cloud.) Note that all of your app settings, game saves, call history, and messages will be lost forever as they currently can’t be backed up anywhere.
- Restore your phone to “NoDo” using your backup, then upgrade directly to Build 7712: According to some people, they were able to get Twitter and LinkedIn contacts sync working without hard reset. It appears most of these people upgraded directly from “NoDo” build to Build 7712 (unconfirmed), bypassing the bug presented in Build 7661. So if you’ve upgraded to Build 7661 last month, perhaps restoring to “NoDo” first, then upgrade directly to Build 7712 may work. Note that this method will wipe all data since the date you upgraded from “NoDo” to Build 7661. Since you’re restoring a backup of your phone back to the “NoDo” state, the most you’ll lose is one and a half month’s worth of data. But hey, you knew this would happen when you decided to give this developer build a try didn’t you?
You can check out a video below from PocketNow.com showing both Twitter and LinkedIn contacts fully synced to the contact list in the People hub:
As an extra tip, say you want to link your friend’s Twitter accounts with their contact card, but you also follow many accounts on Twitter that aren’t actual “contacts” (e.g. @liveside – you should follow now!). You do not wish to see these accounts appearing on your contact list, but at the same time you still want to follow their tweets in the What’s New feed (sound confusing enough?), what can you do? Luckily, the Windows Phone team did think this through, and you can do the following to achieve exactly this:
- After you have successfully synced Twitter to your Windows Phone, go to Settings > Applications > People > Filter my contact list and check the box next to Twitter first (it’s unchecked by default). This will show all Twitter accounts on your contact list, including both your friend’s Twitter accounts, and those that aren’t your friend’s (we’ll call them “non-friend” accounts for now)
- Go to your People hub’s contact list, then manually link your friend’s Twitter accounts with their Windows Live, Facebook, or LinkedIn contact card (if they haven’t been automatically linked already). Leave the non-friend Twitter accounts alone.
- Then go back to Settings > Applications > People > Filter my contact list and uncheck the box next to Twitter. This will remove all those non-friend Twitter accounts from your contact list, while your friend’s Twitter accounts will remain linked with an existing contact. Do note that these non-friend Twitter accounts will still show up when you search for contacts. Good thing is, the feeds for these non-friend’s Twitter accounts will still show up in the What’s New feed, so you can still follow their tweets.
If you have had issues with syncing Twitter and LinkedIn contacts to your latest Mango build, and was game enough to try the “fix” above, do let us know in the comments section how it went. And happy tweeting from your Windows Phone!
Note: As this appears to be a bug in the “Mango” Beta 2 Build 7661 only, we do not expect regular users who are updating from “NoDo” to the final build of “Mango” will ever encounter this issue.