Apple iPhone OS 4.0 update 'to include Facebook integration'

The new iPhone 4.0 software update will include a Facebook app that is tightly integrated with other programs, according to reports.

It could mean that iPhone users will be able to pull their Facebook contacts and regular address book in to one place, and message friends from their phone using Facebook Chat. There is also speculation that Facebook Connect, the system that allows people to sign on to partner websites using their Facebook ID, could be made available to developers in the iPhone Software Development Kit so that they can add social networking features to their apps.

Apple is expected to reveal more details about the iPhone 4.0 software update at it Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco next month. Rival operating systems, including Google Android and the forthcoming Windows Phone 7, all offer superlative social-networking experiences, aggregating friends, contacts, photos and information from sites such as Facebook, Flickr and Twitter, in to a single widget that provides real-time updates.

There are around 34 million active monthly users of the Facebook iPhone app – around a third of all devices running the iPhone operating system – according to Facebook, which has more than 400 million users worldwide.

Apple is also expected to unveil a new iPhone at WWDC next month. But gadget fans already know that it will feature a more powerful camera with flash, and a new-look design – a prototype device was recently left in a Californian bar by Apple engineer Gray Powell.

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