Facebook Launches New iOS Dev Center

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Facebook today announced a brand-new version of its Facebook SDK for iOS, offering a ton of new features and perhaps most notably, support for iOS 6. (More on all this in a bit). But the company is also introducing another major resource for its developer community: the launch of a new iOS Dev Center, where it’s centralizing access to developer tools and resources.

According to a post on the Facebook Developers Blog, the iOS Dev Center offers a lot of material for new developers, including a “Getting Started” guide, a tutorial that shows you how to build a Facebook-integrated iOS app, and other info that aims to explain the basic concepts surrounding Facebook integration in iOS. Also housed at the new Dev Center are all the Reference Docs developers need on hand to begin coding.

In addition to the iOS SDK tutorial, other resources include walkthroughs on the following: Login with Facebook for iOSFeed Dialog for iOSLink to Your Native App, and Share an App ID in Multiple Apps. And the page is linking to Facebook’s presence on StackOverflow.

However, the link that’s going to be clicked the most today is the one that takes you to the “What’s New in Facebook SDK 3.0 for iOS” page which is where all the new features for developers are explained in more detail. We’re going to take a look at this a bit deeper in a subsequent post, but at a high level, they include things like better user session management, ready-to-use native UI views, modern objective-C language features support, and improved Facebook APIs support.

If you’re not a developer, those items may leave you scratching your head a bit, but the big takeaway is that Facebook is now making it easier for developers to integrate Facebook into their native apps, and will make those integrations perform better. It’s even offering templated user interface components which developers can drop into apps (instead of having to code their own) for things like profile pictures, querying the Facebook Places database, and a selecting Facebook friends from a list. The result will be a more consistent experience as users switch from app to app.

Facebook, as you may recall from WWDC, is going to be a key part of the new iOS 6 operating system. The social network will finally be getting “baked in” support, like Twitter has today. This will also include a “share widget” right in the Notification Center, as well as the ability to share photos and websites from Safari, the ability to “like” apps in the App Store, and, of course, the ability to authenticate an app’s new users quickly and easily, just the one time.