As expected, Apple has announced a significant integration of Facebook into iOS6, the next generation of its mobile operating system.
Apple’s Scott Forstall just told today’s WWDC keynote, in Apple’s typically understated style, that the company has worked with Facebook to create “the best Facebook experience ever on a mobile device.”
Some highlights from the announcement:
- Persistent login: Users won’t have to re-login to Facebook when going from app to app.
- Facebook integrated with numerous apps, such as Photos (post photos to Facebook directly from the app), GameCenter, Notification Center, iTunes and others.
- Facebook integrated with Siri, meaning you can speak Facebook status updates.
- Facebook integrated with the Calendar, so Facebook events and birthdays will show there.
- Also integrated with the App Store, allowing users to “like” apps and see what friends have liked.
- A public API will allow developers to more easily integrate Facebook into their apps.
Apple has been hinting in recent months that it would integrate iOS with Facebook in much the same way that it integrated Twitter last fall. Apple said today, in fact, that there have been 10 billion tweets from that iOS5 integration.
Apple also announced today that Twitter sharing will be integrated into the iOS6 Notification Center, and in new versions of Apple’s Safari web browser on Mountain Lion, the new Apple desktop operating system.
Apple says iOS6 will launch this fall.