Sunday, June 03, 2012

Apple to 'friend' Facebook with iOS 6 integration: report

You'll recall that with iOS 5, Twitter was integrated into iOS, and Facebook users all went "Huh?" Well, Facebookers, worry not: with the coming of iOS 6, Facebook will be baked into Apple's mobile platform.

This all still falls into the realm of speculation and rumor, although with WWDC looming, we would expect rumors about iOS 6 to begin running rampant (as well as those about a new iPhone). However, a report from TechCrunch is something to pay attention to.

In addition to the report, Apple seems to have been sending signals in this direction, recently. For one, Apple CEO Tim Cook made several comments at the D10 conference earlier this week, pointing to Facebook. ”Facebook is a great company,” he said, “and the relationship is solid.” He also added the Steve Jobs-ian ”stay tuned," as well.

Obviously, Cook wasn't speaking of the results of Facebook's recent IPO and its stock performance.

Another signal came last week, when Facebook launched its new Camera app. Naturaly Apple knew about the App well in advance; it had to go through the App Store approval process, for one. However, the company also held a big App Store promotion for the app, as well.

According to the report, Twitter followers need not be concerned. Twitter will remain integrated into the OS.

Assuming this comes to fruition (and considering this is Apple, who knows?), this will be a great deal for Facebook. At the same time, though, it's great for end users. Many apps use Facebook as their login method of choice, and as is, while you can do that on iOS, it's a convoluted process.

The Facebook "Single Sign On" process in iOS allows a user to click a Connect button in an app, get switched to the Facebook app to authorize permissions, and then switched back into the original app. It's clunky, but other apps go clunkier still for Facebook login, using an HTML pop-up for Facebook authentication.

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With the changes, things should be more seamless, and Facebook sharing, of course, will be added as well, though how that will work remains to be seen.

WWDC 2012 runs from June 11-15, in San Francisco. We expect much of this to be presented there, though we still expect the new iPhone and iOS 6 to wait for a fall release.

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