Folks, I can't believe it myself, but this day has finally come - Google seems to have finally sorted out all its backend and frontend issues with Google contact sync. Jelly Bean's 720x720 hi-res contact support was surely a nice addition, but ended up almost completely useless in our earlier tests: Jelly Bean Bumps Contact Photos To Hi-Res 720x720 But Google Sync Continues To Clobber It With Low-Res Mush.
As of today, all the problems I ran into before are resolved. Removing and re-adding an account on my Nexus 7 now syncs the contact photos in full resolution, whereas before they would either disappear altogether or end up washed out. Like so:
Moreover, and much more importantly, Gmail on the web now has a brand new UI that finally supports setting hi-res contacts straight from the browser. I can't even begin to describe how long overdue this is, so for the past 35 minutes I've been doing victory dances around the desk instead of writing the post.
Check this out.
Here's what the old terrible 96x96px-forcing web UI for setting contact photos looked like:
And here's the new web sync UI - we have drag-and-drop and hi-res support:
Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be a way to view the hi-res photo in its original full size on the web, but it's not that big of a deal:
And here is what the contacts look like on the Nexus 7. One of them was added on the device and the other through the web, after which the Nexus 7 Gmail account was removed, re-added, and re-synced:
Thanks, Google! And now, in the words of Alfredo Hernández, it's time to:
Thanks for the tip, +Sam Tate!