Last week, there was speculation that Apple and Facebook might be looking to team up in iOS 6 following comments made by Apple CEO Tim Cook the 10th annual All Things D conference. We discussed how both companies could benefit greatly from just such a partnership, and now it seems like Apple and Facebook really are planning to join forces.
According to a story from TechCrunch that cites anonymous sources, Apple is looking to integrate the social network’s features into the next version of the company’s iOS mobile platform, much in the same way that Apple teamed with Twitter in iOS 5. In fact, TechCrunch says that Apple isn’t dropping Twitter integration from iOS, but it is adding lots of features specific to Facebook to its devices’ functionality.
The sources say Apple could be unveiling its Facebook integration at its Worldwide Developers Conference with the codename of “Sundance,” although the fact that we’re talking about Apple means that nothing is set in stone until it’s actually announced. Apple is also potentially running into some speed bumps in terms of actually working out Facebook’s sharing integration, which is much more complicated than integration with Twitter. Facebook has a lot more features and a lot more permissions that users have to give when sharing content, and that could potentially make Apple’s work tougher.
But for the time being, Facebook seems to be on its way to iOS, which could be a testing ground for further integration into Apple’s products. The company has said that it intends to bring Twitter integration to its OS X Lion operating system for Macs, and figuring out the specifics with iOS may be the first step in that direction.
As we noted last week, integrating Facebook and iOS could be very beneficial for both companies. Facebook is hurting on the mobile front: half of its users log-in that way, but Facebook doesn’t make nearly as much money from mobile users as it does from web users. Meanwhile, lots of apps have taken to using Facebook to handle their log-ins, and Apple surely has taken notice.
WWDC starts on June 11 in San Francisco, and Apple’s keynote address on that day will probably cover both iOS 6 and a possible Facebook partnership. Expect to hear about it then; we’ll be watching the developments carefully.