When iOS5 came out, there was a heavy integration with Twitter baked into the OS, but Facebook was left out in the cold. iOS6 has made up for lost time and brought Facebook integration deep into the core of iOS6 matching and even surpassing the level of Twitter integration.
In the second of my series called iOS6 Focus I am taking a look at the improved social networking integration in iOS6, showing some of the ways in which Facebook is now natively supported. This is based on the initial Beta 1 build, so bear in mind details and screenshots may change as Apple refines its next mobile OS.
iOS6 Improved Facebook Integration
Facebook is now integrated into iOS6. Like Twitter you sign-in to your account within the core Settings page.
Once successfully signed in, Facebook confirms all the various bits of information it will make available to your iPhone. Facebook Contacts and Calendar are now integrated with your phone, there are individual on/off toggles to override this if you wish within the Facebook specific settings once your account is connected.
So, now Facebook is linked into iOS6 there are a couple of places where it pops its head up.
There are two new options present that let you quickly and easily post an update to either service. The Tap to Tweet and Tap to Post options bring up dedicated sharing windows allowing you to quickly send an update to either service.
For Twitter there is simply a text entry box with the 140 character count, and the ability to geo-tag your post.
The Facebook option has an additional option with the Friends button which lets you set the visibility of your status update, selecting All or any of the Groups you have set-up on Facebook.
Both are straight forward to use. You will also see another subtle change that is reflected throughout the new OS – the colour hue of the top bar for applications now changes to blend it better with the application in use. This occurs in various locations, the new Sat Nav option uses green, and Facebook sticks to its traditional blue.
The Facebook integration is also in Pictures, and iOS6 has now completely over-hauled the sharing menu into a graphical pane with multiple options including Email, Photo Stream, Twitter, Facebook, Weibo and Print.
This is a big improvement on the old ‘pop up’ menu and makes each action abundantly clear. The new pane also opens up the possibility of adding more services down the line with its ability to slide on for a second page of yet more actions.
Lastly, here is a view of the new Facebook Calendar. Available as a separate Calendar, the Facebook Events and Birthdays view can be turned on/off just like any other Calendar you have configured, and has its own Facebook mini-icon to make it obvious what you’re looking at.
There are a lot of changes here, and iOS6 presents itself as a far more complete mobile OS for the socially active.