Facebook SDK 3.0 For IOS Released In Beta

By David Cohen 

The largest software development kit update in Facebook’s history is now complete, and the results can be found in the beta release of Facebook SDK 3.0 for iOS, aimed at enabling developers of applications for the Apple operating system to integrate the social network into their apps.

Facebook said Facebook SDK 3.0 for iOS is backwards-compatible, and it will automatically use the native Facebook Login in iOS 6 when it becomes available, which will ensure that apps will work seamlessly on all iOS versions starting with 4.0.

The social network also launched a revamped iOS developers center to ease the transition, with a quick-start guide, tutorials, concepts, and reference documents.

Facebook outlined some of the new features in Facebook SDK 3.0 for iOS in a post on its developer blog:

Better user session management: In the past, managing auths, user sessions, and tokens was hard. We’ve spent a lot of time working to make these takes easier for you. This release introduces FBSession, which manages, stores, and refreshes user tokens with default behaviors you can override. It uses the block metaphor to notify your app when a user’s token changes state.

Ready-to-Use Native UI Views: This SDK release includes a variety of pre-built user interface components for common functions. You can quickly drop them into your apps instead of building each one from scratch or using dialogs. This gives you a fast, native, and consistent way to build common features.

  • FBProfilePictureView lets you display a user’s profile picture.
  • FBPlacePickerViewController allows users to query the Facebook Places database to find nearby options and check-in.
  • FBFriendPickerViewController, with single and multi-selection options, enables users to easily select friends. This supports filtering friends by device type and application authorization status.

Modern Objective-C language features support: With Automatic Reference Counting, you no longer have to spend as much time on memory management. Support for blocks means that it’s now more straightforward to handle sessions and calls to asynchronous Facebook application-programming interfaces. This, along with inclusion of key language features like idiomatic API naming and KVO, allows you to transition seamlessly between the Facebook SDK and Apple’s iOS environment.

Improved Facebook APIs support: We have enabled batching for SDK requests to significantly improve latency for Facebook API calls, which translates to much faster access times for API requests. Support for strongly typed Objective-C types for graph actions and objects makes programming against the social graph more concise and easier. This, combined with our action publishing API, makes it easier to publish open graph actions to people’s timelines.

Readers: What types of apps would you like to see developers build using Facebook SDK 3.0 for iOS?