Understanding Facebook integration on iOS 6

Apple and Facebook teamed up to bring Facebook integration throughout iOS 6. Here's what you need to know.

Jason Cipriani/CNET

When Apple announced iOS 5 and the tight integration it would feature with Twitter, many people wondered about the conspicuous lack of Facebook integration. We still don't know why Facebook wasn't included in iOS 5, but it is included in iOS 6 and it works great.

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

In Settings, you'll find a listing for Facebook. Go there to start setting up Facebook's new integration with iOS. If you don't already have the Facebook iOS app installed on your device, you'll be able to download the app there.

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

You can then log in to Facebook directly in Settings and customize how you want Facebook and your iOS device to interact. After entering your credentials, you'll be presented with a screen alerting you to what Facebook can do now that it's integrated at the operating-system level in iOS.

What exactly can you do now that Facebook is added to your iOS device?

You can quickly update your status by enabling the Share widget in notifications. When enabled, you can pull down the Notification Tray from any screen, tap on the Facebook widget, and send off your status update.

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

You'll also be able to share URLs in Safari, pictures from the Photos and Messages apps, your location from Maps, as well as "Like" apps in the App Store. There are more sharing options built into the OS by Apple; those were just a few examples. As more apps are updated for iOS 6 and developers integrate Facebook into their apps, we're likely to see more clever uses of iOS 6's Facebook integration.

Should you allow Facebook to access your Contacts and Calendar, it will keep your Facebook contacts as well as events and birthdays synced to your iOS device. You can restrict its access to your private information by turning off access in the same place you added your Facebook account to your device (Settings > Facebook).

Using Siri to update Facebook
As part of iOS 6, Siri has learned some new tricks. One of them is to allow people to update their Facebook status simply by speaking to Siri. To do this, launch Siri, then say "Post to Facebook," followed by your status update. Anything you say after "Facebook" will be posted to your wall. (You can also use Siri to update Twitter. Click here for our story about all of Siri's new capabilities .)

However, a word of warning: Not long after iOS 6 became available for download, users noticed that, by default, people can make Facebook and Twitter updates using Siri even if the phone is locked with a passcode . That means your prankster friends could easily grab your phone while you're not looking and post updates to your Facebook and Twitter pages without ever needing to know your passcode.

To block the use of Siri on a locked device, go to Settings > General > Passcode Lock > Siri. Then slide the toggle button to the off position. Just be aware that this means you won't be able to use Siri to do anything from the lock screen without entering in your passcode.

How to disable Siri from the lock screen.
How to disable Siri from the lock screen. Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

Updated September 20 at 4:30 p.m. to add the ability to post to Facebook and Twitter status using Siri from the lock screen.

Read the full CNET Review

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The Bottom Line: The transition to Apple Maps is rough, but new features and a ton of tiny tweaks make iOS 6 a must-have update. / Read full review

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About the author

Jason Cipriani has been covering mobile technology news for over five years. His work spans from CNET How To and software review sections to WIRED’s Gadget Lab and Fortune.com.

 

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