This article was published on August 20, 2013

Facebook brings Android SDK level with iOS after adding Open Graph, improved login, more targeting

Facebook brings Android SDK level with iOS after adding Open Graph, improved login, more targeting

Facebook’s SDK for Android has undergone a “major update”, bringing with it several key improvements for developers. Included in this release is native Share Dialog and Object API support, a redesigned login interface, and the beta launch of a feature to publish and measure app events.

The social networking company believes that this release will bolster its support in the community where over 70 percent of the top 100 grossing Android apps are powered by Facebook.

Piggybacking off of its SDK release for iOS in April, Facebook is bringing the Open Graph to Android developers. Third-party apps can now implement a native Share Dialog that will help people share content and activity to the social network from apps without needing to log in first. By doing so, Facebook says it will eliminate three extra steps, hopefully streamlining the user experience.


In addition, Facebook SDK for Android now supports the platform’s Object API, which will permit developers to create Open Graph objects and removes the requirement about how webpages use an Open Graph tag.

Aesthetically, the SDK has also improved the way its login user interface looks. Facebook says the new UI has driven a higher conversion rate, according to pre-launch testing. The company says that the design has been changed in the LoginButton control and its default text now reads “Log in with Facebook”. Developers can take use this updated interface without needing to apply any code changes.

In what may be unique for Android apps, the updated SDK now includes a beta trial insights and targeting feature. With this, developers can get a more accurate understanding about how their app is performing. Previously, only the number of installs driven from mobile ads were measured. However, now with app events, you can track the “aggregate number of times a predefined action was taken within your app.” This includes monitoring things like “add to cart”, “level achieved”, or anything else.

Many of these updates are carry-overs from Facebook’s SDK launch in April for iOS, so it’s refreshing to see consistency for all apps. However, being able to monitor insights and targeting is something unique to Android. If the beta trial goes well, it could be added to more apps.

The updated Facebook for Android SDK is available today.

Photo credit: Josh Edelson/AFP/Getty Images

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