How the New Facebook Integration on iOS 6 for iPhone and iPad Works
On June 11th, Apple gave a demo of its upcoming iOS 6 software release to developers. The software, which powers the company’s popular iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, is slated to introduce changes to the way people share and interact with social media services. Perhaps the most significant addition to iOS 6 is its tight integration with Facebook.
The addition of Facebook to Apple’s iOS comes as little surprise. Last year’s iOS 5 release introduced a similar integration with Twitter and there had been rumors of a Facebook partnership for a long time. Some clever developers who had poked around early iOS 5 betas claimed to have spotted signs that something was in the works; a “Facebook” field was added — but hidden by default — to Apple’s “Contacts” app. Here’s a closer look at the new Facebook integration on iOS 6, along with some of the more obvious pros and cons.
If you’re familiar with iOS 5’s Twitter integration, Facebook’s integration on iOS 6 works largely the same way. Opening iOS 6’s “Settings” app and scrolling down a bit will reveal a new section specifically for Facebook.
All an iPhone owner needs to do is enter his or her Facebook login and password in this section and iOS 6 will handle the rest. Once completed, all Facebook services will be turned on by default with the user having the option to turn them off individually.
Contacts & Calendars
With Facebook turned on, Apple’s Contacts app will automatically link your existing contacts with the information provided in the profiles of your Facebook friends. This will prevent duplicate entries and will provide you with updated information as your friends change their profiles. If, for some reason, you want to unlink a person from his or her Facebook profile, you can do so manually. You will have separate listings for everyone you unlink from Facebook.
For Facebook members who have thousands of connections, this feature could be troublesome; it will likely flood their devices with contact information for people they don’t really care to interact with. Luckily, you can turn this feature off in the Settings app, should you have an aversion to unfriending.
The Calendar app will now automatically include the birthdays of your Facebook friends as well as any Facebook events that you’ve created or been invited to. You will now be able to see from within the Calendar app — in real-time — who has RSVPed for which events.
When performing actions like browsing the web or looking through photos, you will now be able to tap on a button to send the item to the social network of your choice.
Additional Pros and Cons
Facebook apps that require a Facebook login to access their services will be given a leg up by the new iOS 6 integration. Since iOS 6 will provide a system wide login, users of these apps will no longer have to sign in and out of their apps individually. Apps will be able to detect that the user has a Facebook account and then ask the user’s permission to access it. The iTunes store also gets integration with Facebook’s “Like” button.
The iOS 6 platform only allows integration with one Facebook account. This is something that could be frustrating for families who share an iPad, for example. In addition, the lack of integration with Pages and Groups may leave some marketing professionals slightly disappointed. For most people, however, Apple’s iOS 6 Facebook integration is robust and will make sharing and staying in touch that much easier.
Have you used the new Facebook integration on your iOS 6 device? What do you think? Share your thoughts in the comments.