Facebook Releases Biggest iOS SDK Update Ever, Plus iOS 6 Hooks And iOS Dev Center

Facebook has just released a major overhaul of its software development kit (SDK) for iOS, including support for the forthcoming iOS 6, plus a new iOS Dev Center that includes documentation and resources for developers. Facebook promises the new features in the SDK will make it easier to develop Facebook-integrated mobile apps.

Highlights include:

-Improved session management, meaning that it will be easier for developers to handle authentication to Facebook.
-Pre-built interface tools for displaying user profile pictures, Facebook Places and more.
-Improved feature support for Objective-C, the native programming language of iOS, including better memory management.
-Better out of the box support for Facebook’s own APIs, such as the publishing API.

Sarah has also taken a closer look at the Dev Center, here.

Facebook also promises that once iOS 6 is available the SDK will use the previously announced native Facebook Login feature.

The announcement follows Twitter’s announcement that it is further cracking down on third-party app developers’ use of its APIs. Twitter doesn’t have an SDK for iOS, but has released a few Objective-C libraries. Google announced an iOS SDK for Google+ just last month.

Mobile has long been considered a weak spot for Facebook, and has been often cited as the motivation for its $1 billion acquisition of Instagram. Building a set of tools to make it dead simple to add Facebook’s social networking features to applications the company could be setting the ground for letting third-party developers discover the best ways to bring Facebook to smart phones.