Facebook recently announced the latest version of its Facebook SDK for iOS, offering many new features and perhaps, most notably, support for iOS 6. The company is also introducing a major resource for its developer, the launch of the iOS Dev Center, where it’s centralizing access to developer tools and resources.
According to the post on Facebook’s Developers Blog, the new iOS Dev Center offers material for developers, including the “Getting Started” guide, a tutorial that shows how to build a Facebook-integrated iOS app, and other information that aims to explain the basic concepts of building a Facebook-integrated iOS app. Also housed in the Dev Center are all the Reference Docs developers need to begin development.
In addition to the iOS SDK tutorial, other resources include walkthroughs on the following: Login with Facebook for iOS, Feed Dialog for iOS, Link to Your Native App, and Share an App ID in Multiple Apps.
New Development Tools
Jason Clark of Facebook said this on the blog, “After iOS 6 launches to users, the SDK will automatically use the native Facebook Login in iOS 6 when available. Just enable Login with Facebook and the SDK will ensure your apps work seamlessly on all iOS versions 4.0 and later. The SDK will continue to support the iOS 6 integration in beta until Apple’s user launch later this fall.”
The blog also mentioned some of the changes in the new iOS Facebook SDK, “The new features make the SDK a natural extension of Apple’s iOS environment and make your development cycle more efficient by eliminating the need to develop and manage common tasks. This SDK update is fully backwards compatible with our previous SDK release.”
Some of the new features are better user session management, ready to use native UI views, modern Objective-C language features support, and Improved Facebook APIs support. These changes can be viewed in greater detail here.
If you’re not a developer, those items may seem a bit confusing to you, but the big takeaway is that Facebook is now making it easier for developers to integrate Facebook into their native apps, and will make those integrations perform better. It’s offering templated user interface components which developers can drop into apps (instead of having to design their own) for things like profile pictures, querying the Facebook Places database, and selecting Facebook friends from a list. The result will be a more consistent experience as users switch from app to app.
As shown in WWDC, Facebook is going to be a major part of the new iOS 6 operating system. The social network will finally be integrated into iOS. This will include a “share widget” in the Notification Center, as well as the ability to share pictures and websites directly from Safari, to “like” apps in the App Store, and the ability to authenticate an app’s new users quickly.