Facebook and Apple have been making goo-goo eyes at each other recently, and it looks like the flirting is going to lead to a relationship. MG Siegler is reporting for TechCrunch today that Facebook integration will be included in the next version of Apple’s iOS.
…Facebook integration will be very important for iOS — tons of apps use Facebook for sign-ups and authentication (many use Facebook as the only way to do this, to the dismay of some). Apple was undoubtedly watching this activity and realized that it was time to formally bring Facebook on board.
Twitter will still be a big part of the new iOS version. (It’s assumed that it will be named “iOS 6”, it’s currently codenamed “Sundance”.) Twitter will be holding sessions at the WWDC to share more about their continued partnership with Apple, including integration into the upcoming OS X Mountain Lion.
This is a big win for Facebook, integration will allow them to get rid of the clunky sign on technique in iOS where you click a connect button in an app, then switch to the Facebook app to authorize permissions, then switch back to the original app. Facebook being built right into iOS will provide a much more seamless login process.
Siegler says, “It’s important to note that Apple being Apple, something could change in the next week and a half (see again: Facebook/Ping). But as of right now, Facebook is a go in iOS “Sundance”. One thing still being hammered out according to our sources is exactly how sharing will work. Sharing is the other big part of the iOS/Twitter integration, and will be important for iOS/Facebook integration as well. But Facebook is significantly more complicated than Twitter in that there are all kinds of permissions for what you can post where and who can see what. And Open Graph adds another layer of complexity to all of this.”
Siegler’s guess is that Apple will go for simplicity, at least in the initial Facebook/iOS integration, “Beyond authentication, there will probably be a Facebook button in the existing share screen which will allow you to share something to your Facebook Wall.”
Siegler also says that OS X Mountain Lion won’t be including Facebook integration any time soon. Apple will take Facebook’s integration one step at a time, so just iOS for now.