Facebook today released a new beta version of its developer SDK for iOS that aims to make it easier and faster to develop Facebook-integrated iOS apps. The update will also help developers integrate Facebook Login for their apps when Apple’s iOS 6 launches later this fall with deep integration for the social network.
Facebook says this is the biggest iOS SDK update the company has ever done. Facebook SDK 3.0 for iOS gives developers a new FBSession to manage, store and refresh user tokens with default behaviors they can override. Previously, managing user sessions and tokens could be difficult. The company says it has improved latency for Facebook API calls by enabling batching for SDK requests. This and additional API support could encourage developers to integrate Open Graph and create apps that publish actions to users’ Timelines.
Today’s update also includes a number of pre-built user interface components to allow developers to begin from a template rather than building each from scratch. Facebook says this will make it easier to build common features like displaying a user’s profile photo, finding nearby places to check in, and selecting friends to invite to an app. The friend-picker tool will even allow developers to filter friends by device and app auth status, so that users don’t send invites to friends who don’t use iOS devices or who have already added the app.
The company also sought to reduce the amount of time developers spend on memory management. Facebook says it has improved the experience for handling sessions and calls to asynchronous APIs, as well as making the transition more seamless between the Facebook SDK and Apple’s iOS environment.
The social network created a new section of its developer site focused on iOS development. Developers can go there to download the SDK and read technical guides and other resources about how to use Facebook to build, distribute and promote their apps.