The rekindled relationship between Facebook and Apple will soon bring a deeply integrated Facebook experience to Apple iOS devices that will mean big things for the social network, consumers, and Apple’s developer community. We had an inkling that that would be the case; now we know for sure.
Wednesday, Facebook released a new beta version of its software developer kit (SDK) for iOS, which enables developers to integrate their apps with the social network. The new version will bring the benefits of Facebook’s native integration with iOS 6 to third-party application developers.
“The new features make the SDK a natural extension of Apple’s iOS environment,” Facebook engineer Jason Clark said in a blog post. “After iOS 6 launches to users, the SDK will automatically use the native Facebook Login in iOS 6 when available.”
As Clark noted, the new release, SDK 3.0 beta for iOS, will allow app developers to seamlessly grab a device owner’s native Facebook login information to create a simple, no-fuss sign-up, login, or return experience, powered by Facebook, for their apps.
Here’s what it means for consumers: When you fire up an application running the new SDK, you’ll be able to sign in through Facebook with a tap — without needing to recall and manually input your username and password. The small tweak has profound implications as it should prevent user attrition, help applications more easily attract new users, and bring Facebook more app activity yoked to its social network.
SDK 3.0 beta for iOS also introduces better user session management, pre-built user interface elements to help developers with common tasks such as displaying an app user’s Facebook photo, and better support for Facebook APIs.
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