Facebook integration in iOS6

Last month, I wrote about the challenges of truly integrating your social networks, especially Facebook, into your iPhone or iPad.  During the keynote at yesterday’s kick off to WWDC, Facebook was once again brought to center stage.

So, its time to revisit the issue and see if Apple has truly addressed some of the concerns we raised just about a month ago.


Current integration of Facebook

Up to this point, Facebook integration has been sort of “hit or miss” with iOS. Yes, as we looked at in last month’s article, you can go into your Facebook app and ask it nicely to sync your contacts.  Judging from comments and forum posts, it is clear that this sometimes works fine and other times results in duplicate contacts or only partial syncing of data.

Essentially, Facebook was its own app with its own data. If you needed to look at a Facebook event – you needed to start up the Facebook app and look at your events – they were not integrated into your iOS calendar.


Facebook and Contacts in iOS6

Facebook integration in iOS 6

Apple has certainly “baked in” full Facebook integration – for the first time – into iOS6. As covered yesterday, now you can:

  1. Share a photo right to Facebook from your Photos app or the Camera app.
  2. Post your location right from the Maps app.
  3. Tell all about your new high score in a game – right from Game Center.
  4. Ask Siri to post for you – which will be very helpful if your hands are tied up with things like driving.

The real additions, however, are in the area of Contacts and Calendar integration – these are both sorely missing in the current incarnation of iOS.  With iOS 6.0:

  1. Your Facebook events are integrated right into the Calendar app – so you won’t miss any more important birthdays, family events or whatever you have listed in your Facebook events.
  2. Your Facebook friends profile info – all of it – is seamlessly integrated into the Contacts app of iOS 6.

Now, this might be a good or a bad thing. For many of us, we like to keep things separate.  If you have, say, 400 Facebook friends, you might not want them to be integrated into your Contacts.


facebook can be accessed from many apps

What seems very useful to me is having birthdays automatically put into my calendar and events just scheduled – even if I don’t go – I can see that they are there.

One advantage is that when someone updates their Facebook profile and adds a new email address or phone number (yes, some people do list their phone number in their Facebook profile) it will automatically update on your iOS device.

All this integration might not be what you are looking for.  There are always concerns about privacy and that the more Facebook is integrated into the OS, the more the likelihood that information you don’t want shared with Facebook will be shared. That responsibility is on us, however, and I’m sure we will detail any new privacy settings that need to be adjusted in the weeks to come right here on iMore.

For now, the good news is that for those who were looking for better Facebook integration into their iOS experience – it seems like you will not be disappointed in iOS 6.