After Years of Courtship, Apple and Facebook Finally Hook Up
Apple announced Facebook-sharing integration with its iOS mobile software at the company’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco on Monday, thus making formal a long-anticipated pairing between two of the most-watched technology companies of Silicon Valley.
“We’ve been working very closely with Facebook to make sure we’ve got the best mobile integration of Facebook around,” Scott Forstall, senior vice president of iOS Software, said this morning. And it is a broad integration that includes a “Like” function for the App and iTunes Stores, as well as integration with Siri, and a public API so developers can more easily integrate the feature into their apps.
But it’s not just restricted to mobile. Apple also baked Facebook integration deep into Mountain Lion for Macs, allowing users to share photos, links and comments from Mac desktop apps. New Facebook notifications populate Mountain Lion’s Notification Center, as well as the iOS notification bar.
“With deep integration throughout iOS and OS X, people will have new ways to share and connect,” a Facebook spokesman told AllThingsD in a statement. “And it becomes easier for developers to integrate Facebook into apps and games.”
The integration has been a long time coming. Rumors of Apple incorporating Facebook functionality into Apple’s mobile devices have swirled since 2010, back when Apple wanted to bake sharing into the iPhone 4. For reasons still unclear, negotiations between the companies fell apart, and the idea was shelved.
Though the two couldn’t come to terms earlier, Apple didn’t opt out of social integration entirely. The company introduced Twitter integration with the unveiling of iOS 5 last June, allowing users to tweet from various apps like Camera, Safari and the YouTube app.
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