Facebook has updated its iOS SDK today to add some major improvements to the frameworks it provides developers who use the service in their apps. The 3.0 release brings pre-built native UI views, a new class to authenticate and manage user sessions and support for Facebook’s upcoming integration into iOS 6.
When iOS 6 is released, developers that are using the 3.0 version of the SDK will automatically get the single sign-on perks of the Facebook Login object, which is also backwards compatible to iOS 4.0.
The native UI views will be a welcome addition to those using the friend, picture or places components of Facebook. They offer ready to use versions of these controllers, so that developers don’t have to build their own or send users to a web view to authorize Facebook. This should help iOS apps that use Facebook to provide a cleaner and faster native experience. This fits in with rumors that Facebook is in the process of redesigning its apps using native iOS frameworks in order to improve their speed and usability.
The new SDK also adds support for many of the features that Apple added to its own SDK in iOS 5. These include Automatic Reference Counting, blocks, Key-Value Observing and more. These have been a part of Objective-C for a while now, so it’s nice to see official support coming to the Facebook SDK.
Facebook says that SDK calls can now be batched, which should make calls to the API much quicker. This should help streamline the writing or reading of Open Graph actions, a process which has also been streamlined by support for more Objective-C types.
Facebook has also added a new iOS Dev Center that focuses on Facebook integration in apps, gives reference documentation and contains helpful guides for beginners integrating Facebook. If you’re a developer using Facebook, you should head over to the site to download the SDK now.
Image Credit: Angelo DeSantis