Facebook Features to Be Built Into iPhone 4.0?
Apple is reportedly working on integrating a number of Facebook features into iPhone OS 4.0, which is expected to be released with the fourth-generation iPhone at the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in San Francisco next month. Though reports are still sketchy, the functionalities to be built in may include contact syncing and chat by way of the native Messages app.
The Facebook for iPhone app claims 34,391,643 "active users"
as of this writing. If these stats are reasonably accurate, the app is therefore one of the most commonly used on the iPhone, and so it would make sense for both Apple and Facebook to leverage that. Android already allows you to sync Facebook contacts into its unified message system, so expect that functionality at a minimum. Apple is unlikely to just play copycat with Android, however - especially given that Android engineer Erick Tseng will be starting as head of Mobile Products at Facebook
The Silicon Valley Insider's Dan Frommer is reporting that there will be some integration of Facebook Connect
"directly into the software developers kit," but without any details on how it will be implemented. Apple's new Game Center has yet to leave the starting gates, but it's already building a lot of buzz in terms of its social networking features. Apple would be smart to build in the ability for users to link their Game Center and Facebook accounts, which would give users a lot more opportunities to mix their networks. Also, the new iPhone, with its front-facing camera, is expected to bring new video-chat capabilities, which seems like a natural fit for the social-networking realm: it is called Face
book, after all.
Facebook is known to be working hard on integrating its social platform with… well, pretty much everything
, from search to browsing to shopping. So the appeal for them of having it built into the iPhone is clear. For Apple, they obviously have one big number in mind: the 400 million users of Facebook.