If you recall, Facebook teased us a few weeks back about the new iOS SDK. The tease was only a paragraph long and contained no details whatsoever. It seemed kind of pointless, but all that waiting has finally paid off with the real announcement of SDK 3.0 beta for iOS.
The Facebook development team wants to stress that the latest SDK is more of a “natural extension of Apple’s iOS environment.” The hope is that it will “make your development cycle more efficient by eliminating the need to develop and manage common tasks.” This is all made possible through the recently announced Facebook integration into iOS 6.
So what can developers look forward to in the SDK 3.0 beta for iOS? The Facebook team has four major improvements in store from user sessions to improved API support. There’s sure to be something for everyone in the latest release.
First up is better user session management as the team concedes that “managing auths, user sessions and tokens was hard.” Their first step was to make it as easy as possible with the introduction of FBSession. The new tool manages, stores and refreshes user tokens with overridable default behaviors.
To help developers on the design side of things, the new SDK also includes some pre-built user interface components so you don’t have to waste time and resources building them from scratch. The three UIs available now are for displaying a user’s profile picture, Facebook places and friend select dialog box.
The move to iOS integration has also expanded Facebook’s Objective-C repertoire. The new SDK supports Automatic Reference Counting, support for blocks, idiomatic API naming and KVO. These features should help speed up the process of developing apps that support both Facebook and iOS 6.
Finally, the Facebook APIs have received some tender care with developers now being able to batch SDK requests to reduce Facebook API call latency. All of this makes it easier to publish Open Graph actions to timelines.
The most exciting news is that the SDK will automatically use the native Facebook login across all of iOS when iOS 6 launches next month. In even more interesting news, the new SDK will allow apps to work seamlessly across all versions of iOS dating back to version 4.0.