Late last month, Facebook released the Facebook SDK for iOS 3.1 to developers everywhere. It was to help get them ready for the launch of iOS 6 and the Facebook integration the platform brought with it. Understandably, Android developers might have felt a little left out. Well, not anymore as Facebook has finally released a new SDK for the platform.
The Facebook SDK 3.0 Beta for Android is now available to all Android developers who want to incorporate Facebook into their apps. The update is similar to the 3.1 update that hit iOS last month as it includes new native UI controls, better API support and other much needed updates.
First and foremost, the new SDK includes the revamped native UI controls that iOS developers have been enjoying for about a month now. This new feature make it easy for developers to drop Facebook controls into mobile apps without much work. Here’s the list of controls available to developers:
- Friend Picker lets people tag friends in an Open Graph action or find other people who installed your app.
- Places Picker shows nearby places with customizable locations.
- Profile Picture control shows the profile picture for any Facebook object, including people, places and things.
- Login controls simplify how you manage user identity and app permissions.
Aside from the new controls, Android developers can look forward to simplified session management in the new SDK. The new tools should “simplify authentication and authorization.” Another nice addition is better Facebook API support which includes batch SDK requests for API calls. Facebook JSON data can also be manipulated with strong-type fonts to prevent coding errors.
All of these additions are nice, but there’s one major reason developers should get the new SDK – mobile app install ads. The new ad type allows developers to advertise their apps directly to mobile users’ feeds. A link in the feed will then take a user to that app’s Google Play page. Developers must use the Facebook SDK 3.0 for Android to take advantage of this new feature.
Facebook has a ton of resources for the aspiring Android developer. You can read up on documentation here and get a basic tutorial on SDK integration here. Before any of that, however, you’ll want to grab the new SDK Beta here. We’ll let you know when the SDK exits out of beta. It’s sure to have some nice new features at that point.