June 4, 2012
Apple And Facebook, Sitting In A Tree…
Michael Harper for redOrbit.com
It's the relationship that's been rumored for years. Now, new mumblings, murmurs and rumors say two of Silicon Valley's largest companies will finally get in bed with one another. The end result, a deep Facebook integration in Apple's iOS 6. Such an integration would allow that vast middle section in the iPhone users-Facebook users Venn diagram to instantly share photos and websites, as well as “like” and share your favorite apps from the app store, similar to sharing on the desktop version of iTunes.
Apple was expected to announce such a partnership with the social networking giant back when iOS 4 was introduced nearly 2 years ago, though Steve Jobs later mentioned there were some “onerous” terms preventing the two from working together. Most recently, Tim Cook coyly mentioned on stage at the All Things D conference last week that users should “stay tuned” on an Apple/Facebook partnership.
MG Siegler writes that the FB integration in iOS 6 will largely resemble Twitter's integration, giving users the option to send items to Facebook directly from native and third-party apps alike.
Such an integration could also clean up the current process of signing into Facebook through apps which use Single Sign On. For those apps to make use of Facebook integration – and those that require it – a deep iOS integration could do away with being yanked out of the current app in order to input your login credentials.
Siegler points to Facebook's newest iOS app, Facebook Camera, for hints of a new union betwixt the two tech companies.
For instance, if you have the original Facebook app installed on your phone, when you open Facebook Camera for the first time, you're greeted by a simple splash screen with a silver button allowing you to continue as yourself. Siegler points out in a blog post that Facebook is taking advantage of some built-in keychain sharing in iOS. As Facebook is already using this kind of deep integration into iOS, it's possible a formal partnership with Apple could bring even more ease-of-use functionality to the iWorld.
Siegler also takes care to mention Apple could very easily change their mind in the last minutes leading up to a possible WWDC announcement, as they did with the failed Facebook integration with the failed Ping service.
Kara Swisher from All Things D last week called an Apple/Facebook partnership “inevitable,” and it seems Siegler and a host of other tech blogs agree. Both of these companies are doing rather well on their own, (slipping stock prices notwithstanding) but the separation between the two seems more shocking and troublesome than anything else. Siegler also points out that while Facebook may be coming to iOS this summer, it isn't likely they will soon be getting the deep Mac integration Twitter will be receiving. Facebook has also been rumored to be working on their own smartphone, though many have quickly panned this idea in the light of Facebook's dismal track record where privacy is concerned.
This year's WWDC kicks off next week and could be one of the most important conferences in recent Apple history.