The recent iOS6 update for iPhones has sparked its fair share of consternation from users, but most of the discussion has been about the new Apple Maps as an underwhelming replacement for Google Maps.
Personally, I've been far more annoyed with how the Facebook app has "integrated" into my daily tasks, like sending emails to coworkers or checking my calendar. Emails to longtime colleagues suddenly default to Facebook.com email addresses, and tons of random, unsolicited Facebook events are popping up in my phone calendar, making it hard to find the "real" meetings I'm supposed to be in.
If you've faced similar frustrations, I wanted to share a few quick steps to fixing the problem. These likely seem obvious to some of you, but hey, if it helps a few of you avoid the annoyance, I've done my part.
Step 1: Upgrading and syncing
If you've already upgraded your device to iOS6, you likely noticed that the process triggered a prompt asking if you wanted Facebook to have access to some of your built-in apps, like Contacts and Calendar. It's an all-or-nothing consent, but as I'll explain below, you can opt out of certain portions after accepting the change.
To be clear, the Facebook integration is a nice feature overall. I like being able to share photos directly from my photo gallery without having to pull up the Facebook app, for example. But that's not to say every aspect is worth having.
Step 2: Consider evicting Facebook from your Contacts
For me, the biggest annoyance with the marriage of Facebook into my iPhone has been the way my longtime contacts are now listed by their "Facebook email address." Recently, Facebook replaced your preferred email address with a facebook.com account, and few users bothered to change it back.
That means that when I try to email a colleague or friend, my iPhone suddenly defaults to Facebook.com addresses rather than their work or personal account. I don't mind having their Facebook.com emails on hand, but I'll likely never use it as a first pick for contacting someone.
To turn off Facebook contact integration, go into your iPhone's Settings, then select Facebook and unselect Contacts.
I continued to have a few lingering issues with recipient emails defaulting to Facebook.com addresses, but this is easily remedied on a case-by-case basis by selecting the blue arrow to the right of a contact's email address (when it pops up as the default) and clicking "Remove From Recents."
Step 3: Want to cut Facebook events from your Calendar?
To be fair, I've never liked the iPhone's daily Calendar interface, which gives you only the tiniest window in which to scroll through the day's upcoming meetings. But having Facebook events cluttered in there just made it worse.
Luckily, it's just as easy to remove them by deselecting "Calendar" in the Settings > Facebook tab of your iPhone.
Step 4: Don't let your friends (and Siri) prank you
One more subtle issue to be aware of is that iPhones with the voice-activated Siri interface — the 4S and 5, specifically — have a default setting that allows you to use Siri while your phone is locked. With the new Facebook integration, that means friends can pick up your locked phone and post to Facebook for you. That could get ugly, so I'd strongly recommend going into Settings > General > Passcode Lock and deselecting Siri as an app that can be accessed while the phone is locked.
(Hat tip for the Siri advice to cnet, which has a nice overall writeup on the Facebook integration.)
Hopefully this helps a few of you unclutter your newly upgraded phone. What about you? Do you have any tips on ways to make the daily experience of iOS6 a bit smoother or more efficient? We'd love to hear them in the comments.
Photo credit: Andres Rueda on Flickr.