Facebook hopes devs will 'Like' how mobile SDKs, Graph API have scrubbed up

First major rev in two years improves logins, sharing

F8 2015 Facebook has used the occasion of its F8 developer conference in San Francisco this year to roll out a major update to its software development kits for Android and iOS, in addition to a new version of the API for accessing its social graph data.

"This is our first major update to the iOS and Android SDKs in more than two years," Facebook engineer Harshdeep Singh wrote in a blog post announcing the new releases. "We've spent the past year talking to our developer community about how we can make their lives easier, so we rebuilt our SDKs to reflect their feedback."

The new SDKs, each of which is at version 4.0, are described as being "fully rebuilt."

Among the major changes, the new SDK introduces improved programming models for logins and sharing things on Facebook, plus better error handling and recovery.

Android developers can now run the ProGuard code optimization and compression tool across their entire projects, resulting in smaller apps.

The iOS SDK, on the other hand, has been broken up into a small group of separate libraries, which can also result in smaller apps. On the downside, version 4.0 no longer supports iOS 6 – so apps that use it won't run on the iPhone 3GS or earlier, or the fourth or earlier generations of the iPod Touch.

The updates to the Facebook's Graph API are more incremental. Version 2.3 is the fourth point release of the 2.x generation of the API, which was first introduced at last year's F8 conference in April. Version 2.2 was released in October 2014.

Major updates in version 2.3 include a new debugging mode that gives developers extra data for each API call, new capabilities for managing videos and Pages, and new permissions for users, such as the ability to share content with "All Mutual Friends."

Developers can begin working with Graph API 2.3 immediately. Facebook didn't say when to expect the next version of the API, except that version 2.3 will remain available "at least until March 25, 2017" – which happens to be the same day the previous edition, version 2.2, goes dark.

The Facebook SDK 4.0, meanwhile, went live on the company's download site on Wednesday. Copious documentation is also available, including upgrade guides for iOS and Android. ®

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