Vodafone 555 Blue

Vodafone 555 Blue: Understanding synchronization behaviour

I would like to explain the synchronization behaviour of the Vodafone 555 Blue a bit further. With its default settings, customers should not be required to make any changes in order to get a great experience. Still there are some ways to finetune the experience and I would touch on them here:

Synchronization behaviour
The device will regularly connect to the Facebook servers and look for updates. The interval is fixed and can not be modified. As a customer you will see a little animation in the top of the status bar when the device is doing background transfers. It is worthwhile to understand that Facebook data is synchronized at different intervals. In every interval, the device will look for new messages, notifications and status updates in the newsfeed. Roughly four times per day, changes in the addressbook and other more static parts of the phone are fetched. This means that some pieces of data (e.g. a new friend) will not appear in the phonebook immediately.

These are the setting options (Facebook settings -> Background updates):

This is the most important information (messages, notifications, phonebook) and it is recommended to leave this on “auto”. Manual will give you a completely static experience and you will have to actively refresh the resepctive apps all the time.

News Feed
This is setting will control the prefetching of the News Feed. If you leave this on “auto”, your news will be constantly loaded and you will see the counters going up automatically. If this is set to manual, the News Feed has to be refreshed to be updated. The benefit of manual refesh is that it will save GPRS data volume as a manual refesh will only poll the last 200 items max.

News Feed pictures
When we designed the device, we realized that pictures in the News Feed account for about 30% of all data usage. Setting this option to “Manual update” will only load images in the News Feed when they are viewed. The effect is a big savings in GPRS data volume for the cost of having to wait for the pictures to load while browsing.

News Feed picture size
Unfortunately Facebook does not provide a picture size that would exactly match the screen resolution of the Vodafone 555 Blue. Therefore we decided to go with a smaller size of images by default to make the experience really fast. If the default size is too small, you can change the picture size to high resolution. The effect will be that the device will load a much bigger picture from the Facebook server (about 4 times as big) which will look better for the cost of increasing the loading time and GPRS data usage. As a user, you can experiment with this setting to see what works best for you.


17 thoughts on “Vodafone 555 Blue: Understanding synchronization behaviour

  1. Hello there !

    First I would like to appreciate the information you provided here. I got me a vodafone 555 blue and I was wondering if you could help with an issue I got with it. My location is Ireland.

    The issue is, that the private message theads are not synchronizing (or should I rather say “updating”) on time. I tried with both, the manual refresh and I setup the automated refresh in the preferences. But the message thread is is just not showing the latest message of my friends at all. I should remark that in once case a message of my friend is already older than 1 day and I do see it when i log on to fb from my Mac. At the same time the Newsfeed updates are all fine and uptodate, so I can exclude a plain connectivity issue/network issue. The facebook chat app is working all fine too. I should remark that I have this issue with private messaging threads with all my contacts, not only with one.
    I ran the latest software updates on the phone.

    I was wondering if you got any idea what I could do ? I have also logged in and off to another fb account I have ane then loged in back to my main account. and I turned the phone off/on several times.

    Thanks in advance so far,


    1. Sorry, one more thing. I do see the PREVIEW of the latest message though.
      To make this mroe clear:
      I go to messages > Facebook. There I see a list of messages from different freinds, each line contains a little preview of the first lets say 40 letters. I do see that, but once I click on it, I would not see that particular mssage, I would only see an older message..

    2. Hi Dominik,

      thanks for the purchase πŸ˜‰ We are investigating your issue, the problem has not occured in any of the testing rounds so it is a bit hard to tackle. Will get back to you as soon as we can.

      Best regards,

  2. hi since i purchased the phone i have not been able to access the news feed it just says “syncing facebook data, come back shortly” i have my age verified, have gotten a replacement, and replaced the sim yet it still doesn’t work.

    1. Hi Rory,

      please check the following things, it probably is something with your settings:
      – Verify you are using the correct APN (in UK there is one for prepay and one for postpay)
      – Make sure you have credit on your SIM and data is enabled
      – Make sure you have not disabled platform applications on the Facebook website, technically speaking the phone is a Facebook application.

      One of the things above should be the origin of your problem. If you live in a very busy area, the sync may take a while depending on how many contacts you have.

    1. Hi Ashlee,

      please just download the PC Suite, attach the phone with a USB cable and choose the option “COM Port” when you connect the cable to the phone. When you start the PC Suite, it will detect the phone and you can start the sync. There is another post about this on my blog here.

      Good luck,

  3. Hi from Crete, Greece,

    I am about to buy the phone, and I would like to ask you:

    1)what is (roughly of course) the GPRS consumption of the phone’s basic sync fetching 5 Facebook text messages and 5 text emails plus some changes in the address book? is it MBs or KBs??

    2)Also, since I have a 100MB data “allowance”, will that be OK for basic use (manually upadating the news feed and almost not viewing any pictures) with facebook chat???

    3)How much GPRS data does it consumes (roughly again of course) in the first setup of the phone if you sync 1000 facebook friends contacts???

    4)When you go off the Palringo application not closing it, does it keep working in the background??

    Thanks in advance!!! πŸ™‚


    1. Hi Manolis,

      now these are a lot of detailed questions πŸ˜‰

      1) I cannot answer this generically. It largely depends on how your friends behave as well. The messages and emails are really small. We will however (we have to) occasionally update your addressbook and other things (to see if there are new friends, etc).

      2) In manual mode, this will be absolutely fine. If you keep the manual mode, I’d say you should end up with maybe 50MB a month. Again, depends how much and what you friends post. Keeping images off is a good idea. When you refresh newsfeed we get the newest 200 items.

      3) For 1000 friends, expect something between 10-15MB. Please be aware that the phone can only handle up to 1000 friends. We have to cut off after that and you will not see all your friends. There was no other technical way to do this.

      4) Plaringo can work in the background.

      Hope this helps,

  4. .. if I may add something to consider before buying:

    – the phone only works with a 2G standard for connectivity (not 3G and notice that 4G is coming already with latest phones..)
    – long facebook messages will be just cut off when they exceed a certain length (at about more than 1000 Characters)
    – it uses an operating system which is specfic to this phone (in case you will not like palringo, I guess you will hardly find any other app for this mobile phone)
    – it will update facebook only like every 20 minutes or something (not in real time and the refresh button does not work instantly).
    So if you want to us facebook messaging to replace text messaging with your freinds: forget it !
    – the facebook messages on the phone and the ones you really have in your account are not 100% synced. Example: Your write a message on facebook to your friend from your PC , then you go to your PHONE and access facebook: you will not see the message u wrote to your friend.

    .. just thought I let you know..

    1. Just to be correct here. The f-button refresh will do the same as the 20-minute refresh. So when you set the phone to manual mode it only refreshes less often.

      If you want to refresh more often (like for fast message exchange), you can do so by refreshing in the menu of the individual application. Newsfeed, Messaging and others have this option. This will fetch the very latest data, regardless if it is less than 20 minutes or not.

      If you want to download more applications: please go to http://getjar.com, there are several thousands of apps available. We have also a nice add-on application called Vodafone Friend Connect, give it a try: http://friendconnect.vodafone.com.

    1. @Rahul, you can only refresh the apps individually (e.g. messages, newsfeed). The 20mins is a fixed interval, otherwise the device would consume really large amounts of data each month.

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