Facebook updates SDK for Apple's iOS 6

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Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) released version 3.1 of its software development kit for Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS, adding support for the platform's deep integration into the newly revamped Apple operating system.

Writing on the Facebook Developer Blog, the social network's lead product manager Eddie O'Neil explains that iOS 6 touts core Facebook integration features like native login, which he calls "the first step in using Facebook to drive user engagement and app installs," as well as native sharing tools for posting content to the site. The revamped SDK also incorporates pre-built user interface controls to help developers build more immersive experiences and more effectively distribute and promote their apps, like Friend Picker (to help apps identify the user's contacts), Places Picker (enabling apps to integrate with Facebook Places), Profile Picture control and login controls.

Facebook SDK 3.1 for iOS additionally brings login support across all iOS versions from 4.0 and up; a new FBSession API that manages, stores and refreshes user tokens; improved API support that minimizes the code necessary to call Facebook Graph, FQL and other APIs; and ad analytics tools to help track campaign effectiveness and app usage behaviors. The SDK is available for download here.

Apple began rolling out iOS 6 last week. Its Facebook integration mirrors Apple's efforts to incorporate Twitter access across iOS 5, introduced in October 2011. iOS 5 allows users to sign in once and then tweet directly from all Twitter-enabled apps with a single tap. Twitter signups tripled after iOS 5's release--in June, Apple Senior Vice President of iOS Software Scott Forstall said iOS 5 users are now responsible for 10 billion tweets, with 47 percent of photos posted to Twitter originating from devices running iOS 5.

Developers nevertheless express significant doubts over Facebook's long-term mobile viability: Two-thirds of developers believe a mobile-first social startup could disrupt the company's dominance over the social networking segment, according to a new survey conducted by Appcelerator and research firm IDC.

For more:
- read this Facebook Developer Blog entry

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