Facebook Releases New Android SDK

Facebook has released a new SDK for Android, allowing a solution for developers to integrate Facebook functionality into their apps.

Facebook announced Facebook SDK 3.0 Beta for Android in a blog posting this week. Facebook's Michael Marucheck calls it the biggest update ever for Android developers. The major change is in the area of native UI controls. Marucheck lists some of the most important additions:

    • 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.

Support for the Facebook API has also been beefed up, according to the post. The support includes batch SDK requests for Facebook API calls, "which translates to much faster access times for parallel API requests," Marucheck writes.

Another upgrade is to session management, which has been streamlined. Authentication and authorization have been simplified, for example, and login state can now be managed automatically. Also, low-memory situations can now be automated if desired, through a new Activity base class.

In addition to the technical enhancements, Facebook has strengthened its Android-focused educational offerings via a new Android Dev Center. The Center includes technical guides like a soup-to-nuts tutorial, advice on how to build a Facebook login for an app, and how-to information on publishing to feeds. Also included is a an Android reference guide with instructions on building classes, exceptions and UI elements.

About the Author

Keith Ward is the editor in chief of Virtualization & Cloud Review. Follow him on Twitter @VirtReviewKeith.