iOS 6 comes with plenty of new features, but as far as the social web aspects are concerned, the Facebook integration is the big move. It's been in the works for years now, it was supposed to happen in iOS 5, but negotiations didn't go well.
Facebook is big and has a lot of sway, but so does Apple. Both companies are very strict in what they do with their products and how they let others interact with them.
Finally, the two companies managed to reach an agreement, so Facebook in iOS happened. The move benefits both of them, but that doesn't mean it was easy to get a deal done.
One thing that probably united them is their hatred of Google. While Microsoft may bark the loudest and the most often about Google, it's Apple and Facebook that compete for the title of Google arch-nemesis.
Apple has been moving to squeeze Google out of iOS 6 and the iPhone 5. The native YouTube app is out, Google debuted its own. The Google Maps app has been replaced as well, with Apple's own inferior offering.
Apple rarely changes something for the worse. Granted, the move may have been spurred by Google
, which has more to gain from making Apple look bad and getting to control its apps.
But the feeling is mutual, one example
that may seem minor but it's perfect to describe how these companies are battling each other, is the Facebook contacts sync, now available in iOS 6.
If you choose to sync your Facebook contacts, some data will be pulled into your phone, including the email address of your contacts. But that email address, more often than not, will be an @facebook.com address rather than the one they used to sign up to Facebook or is their primary email address.
Most users won't even know this is happening, Facebook quietly changed the primary email made visible for its users from the ones they picked to the one supplied by Facebook. This happened back in June and, while it was a jerk move, it at least seemed like it was made to benefit Facebook.
But it now looks like Apple pressured Facebook into making the change, and upsetting its users. The reason: it's simple, Apple wanted to keep Gmail addresses out of its phones at any cost.
Whether the move hurts Google, since people will be using Gmail less on their iPhones, or Apple, since it's annoying its customers who may be surprised to find they're sending emails to Facebook instead of to their contacts' email address, remains to be seen.