Apple CEO Tim Cook’s comments about Facebook at the D10 Conference last week have sparked much speculation about how Facebook might be integrated in Mac OS X and iOS and whether, by teaming up, Facebook and Apple might be able to stop Google+ from gaining any real traction.
Apple has already integrated Twitter directly into iOS 5 and has unveiled plans to offer similar functionality in Mountain Lion. We already know that if you add your Twitter account information in the Mail, Contacts & Calendars system preference, you can receive notification of Twitter direct messages and mentions via the new Notifications Centre and Share Sheets will let you quickly share items from just about anywhere. Read more about what’s coming in our Mountain Lion feature.
A similar alliance between Apple and Facebook could let users easily share things that interest them on their iPhone, iPad and Mac.
Another place where iOS could benefit from direct Facebook connections is the Camera app. Snapping a photo and then posting it to Facebook marks one spot where the iPhone is repeatedly smoked by Windows Phone – mostly because Windows Phone offers the ability to share photos to Facebook with a single tap.
With better integration, Contacts could be linked with Facebook so that iOS could grab your friends’ self-provided phone numbers, email addresses and photos.
If Apple and Facebook team up it could benefit social networking as a whole, according to GigaOM Pro vice president David Card. “A potential Facebook-iOS 6 integration with packages of integrated API sets could help establish standards in identity management, location-based check-ins and other mobile APIs,” Card told Ecommerce Times.
“Facebook’s app discovery is pretty weak, so I doubt adding Like buttons to iOS apps will be Earth-shattering. Easier photo- and link-sharing are obvious places to start, but unlikely to be market-share shifters,” he said.
Card noted that Google would be missing from Apple’s social networking comrades. But he suggested that despite fierce competition and reports that Apple no longer offer Google Maps as standard in iOS, Card said that a Facebook-Apple alliance isn’t likely to push Google+ any further out the door.
It is expected that Apple will announce iOS 6, an update to iCloud and possibly new MacBook Pros and Mac Pros at the event next week.