Yesterday, I read about Facebook Connect being expanded to the iPhone. Having not really played with Facebook Connect much, what does this all mean?
To the average user, Facebook Connect basically allows you to use your Facebook ID to login to non-Facebook sites that support Facebook Connect. This saves a whole lot of trouble trying to create separate accounts on each website and memorising passwords all over the place.
An added bonus is that these non-Facebook sites have the option of publishing your activity on those sites to your Facebook profile. This just enhances the whole centralisation of “what you are up to” to Facebook, but of course you don’t have to publish it to your Facebook profile if you don’t want to.
Facebook Connect with the iPhone
So how does the iPhone story fit in? The iPhone has a huge array of applications and games. Some of these support network play, leaderboards, etc, but so far, you have to create yet another user account and keep track of that! And then once you do, how do you find your friends on there? Now you have to look up the user accounts of your friends on these other iPhone gaming systems.
With Facebook Connect support on iPhone applications, you can now login using your Facebook ID to supported iPhone games and applications. It’s sort of like playing those Facebook games like Poker, Scramble, etc, but on your mobile device.
Sure there’s other systems like Microsoft Live, but Facebook have really taken it to the next step by pushing this into the mobile world.
Tap Tap Revenge 2 with Facebook Connect
Tap Tap Revenge is a music rhythm DDR/Guitar Hero type game on the iPhone. Last night I updated Tap Tap Revenge 2 to the latest version, which now supports Facebook Connect. I can play an Online Game, I can play against Facebook friends (who are online, have an iPhone and Tap Tap Revenge 2 – which is none at the moment 😦 😦 ), and Tap Tap Revenge 2 can publish my latest scores to my Facebook profile.
Here is what you get:
I like it. I know there will be people who don’t like all this control by Facebook, and the centralisation of their user data, but it’s optional. If you don’t like it, don’t use it.
I’d like to see even more connectivity:
- Connect my PlayStation Network identity to Facebook somehow. That would be neat.
- Show a list of my Facebook friends that are online and what games they are currently playing so I can join in (like Xbox Live or Playstation Network)
- Play games on my mobile with people playing on Facebook on a computer. Imagine being able to play the next move on Scrabble or Chess or Scramble on either your mobile device natively (not through your mobile phone’s web browser) or on a PC.
- Show me which of my friends are nearby. Maybe the iPhone 3.0 firmware will help go some of this way. Hmm….
- Develop GPS oriented team games that combine the iPhone’s GPS with your friends on Facebook
Oh, and continue porting Nintendo DS type platform and other games to the iPhone platform. You wouldn’t need any other device!!