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Hands on with iOS 6: Social and sharing

Facebook integration comes to iOS 6, and it looks an awful lot like Twitter integration did starting in iOS 5. Anywhere iOS used to let you send a tweet, you can now post to Facebook as well. Also new to iOS 6 is the way it looks when you share photos, links, and other data; that process scores a dramatic makeover.

Facebook

You can share photos within the Camera and Photos apps, share your location from within Maps, send updates from Game Center, and post status updates with Siri. For that last trick, you can say "Post to Facebook I love reading Macworld," "Write on my wall I love Mark Zuckerberg," "Post I'm in the mood for brunch to Facebook," or similar alternatives.

To share photos on Facebook from the Camera or Photos app, tap the Share button, and then tap Facebook. The Facebook share sheet that appears will superimpose an album name atop the photo, which is attached to the typing area. Tap the photo to choose a different Facebook album for it. In the bottom right corner, you can tap to choose which audience you'd like to share your photo with; the options available to you will reflect your Facebook privacy settings. You can also choose whether to include location information for the photos you share.

Sharing your current location in Maps works pretty much the same way. You tap a pin, then tap the blue arrow, and scroll down to tap the Share Location button. Then choose Facebook, and you're greeted with the now familiar Facebook sharing sheet.

Again, as with iOS 5's Twitter integration, you can also save your Facebook login credentials in iOS 6's Settings app. In theory, other third-party apps that need access to your Facebook credentials could then ask for permission to use your Facebook account, without your needing to login again.

Social sharing

Tap to share content in iOS 6, and you'll be greeted by a new array of icons. As sharing options continue to proliferate, this new view seems better suited than the iOS 5 approach of old--an ever-longer scrolling list--to managing them all.

Most of the sharing and related options you'll see are holdovers from iOS 5, just presented in a new way. You'll see familiar icons for actions directly related to core apps, like Mail, Message, Twitter, and Facebook. Other options that don't link directly to a specific app--Print, Copy, Use As Wallpaper--will instead show grayscale icons related to the actions that they represent.

Tap on any of those buttons to trigger the related action.


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