June 08, 2009

Facebook Connect on My iPhone Games Is a Huge Win

When I attended the SXSW conference this March, I was able to see the announcement, by Dave Morin, the company's senior platform manager, that Facebook Connect would be integrated with iPhone applications, essentially adding the glue between the world's most popular social network with the digerati's most treasured mobile phone (a debut that was much anticipated). In the ensuing months, as I have seen Facebook Connect be added to more and more applications on my iPhone, I have really come to enjoy its benefits.

At the end of 2007, I said that the major benefit of having a Facebook account was for playing games with family, spread across the country.

Connecting With Facebook from My iPhone Finds My Scrabble Games

I would guess that behind accepting new friend requests, the number one thing I use Facebook for is just that - playing games, such as Scrabble, with my family, or Scramble, a Boggle-like game I sometimes play versus Anna Billstrom, if for no other reason but to remember how much better she is at it than I am.

I Can See Both Active and Archived Scrabble Games from Facebook

Now, thanks to the Facebook Connect and iPhone app integration, I can play the same Scrabble games from Facebook on my iPhone. Just by clicking the app and seeing My Games in Facebook, I can play my active boards, or review archived games with a few taps of my finger. The experience, with the exception of screen size, is virtually the same - and it has let me make a few moves when I'm not attached to my laptop. (which also reduces my tendency to use online resources for better moves)

I haven't always been a huge fan of Facebook. I can't sit on it all day and respond to status updates. But the network has a ton of data on me in my social profile. I've already asked them to be utilized and help block ads that are don't make sense for me, even if they are still doing a bad job at it themselves. But now that I am seeing how easily they can be leveraged for apps, I'd like to see even more iPhone apps to look this direction and connect with the Facebook Connect platform to know the real me and get my data. It really can enhance the experience.