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Easily update your contact photos without sacrificing privacy – MacStories

I am the type of person trying to add a photo to each of my iPhone contact lists. I can't stand having gray initial photo bubbles in Messaging; while contact photos can be disabled in message settings, I have never done so because when pictures are added, it gives the app so much extra beauty and utility. For years, I've done the manual work of selecting contact photos from my own photo library or, more often, finding photos for online contacts via social media, and adding them to my contacts from there.

Based on the time I & # 39; I looked at someone else's Messages app, most of them never care to go through trouble configuring contact photos manually. I don't blame them because it's a nuisance. A new app called Vignette from developer Casey Liss aims to eliminate the pain of adding contact photos by purchasing web and social media for you, and updating the contact's photos accordingly ̵

1; all in a privacy-conscious manner.

Unlike many other programs that aim to streamline the use of adding contact photos, Vignette does not require access to any of your personal social media. Typically, apps will ask you to sign in to Facebook, for example, so they can crawl your friends list to extract profile photos and other data for your contacts. While this is an effective method, it also requires giving a third-party app special access to your social media accounts. Vignette takes a different approach.

When you open Vignette and click & # 39; Find Contact Photos & # 39 ;, it is not logged in to other required accounts. The app needs access to your contacts, for obvious reasons, but in addition, Vignette does everything for you without the need for additional permissions.

Vignette sources currently contact photos from four databases: Gravatar, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Since the app does not require logging into any of these accounts, it will instead look at the data stored in each of your contacts and try to match the data with available profile images from each service. Email addresses draw images from Gravatar, and entries in the "Social Profiles" section of your contacts subtract from each service – for Twitter and Instagram, a username is expected, and for Facebook Vignette uses the link that iOS populated back on the day it offered a built-in sync feature for Facebook contacts.

When Vignette finishes drawing, you see a list of all contacts that a profile picture was found for. By default, each contact is pre-selected to adopt the new image, but you can select and choose which one to update and which you do not, so if you already have great pictures for specific contacts, you do not need to overwrite them but can keep them which is. When Vignette finds images for a contact from multiple sources, you can browse all available options and join any one you prefer.

Historically, if you wanted a simple way to fill your contacts with photos, your best alternative would be apps that shop your privacy for the convenience they offer. In a day when data breaches are constantly in the news, Vignette stands as a strong alternative. The app takes your privacy seriously, while still providing a valuable tool that can spruce up your contacts and message app, just by pressing a few buttons.

Vignette is available as a free download on the App Store; A one-time $ 4.99 purchase in the app will unlock the storage of photos to your contacts.

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