When Facebook announced the Graph API in April, it was generally accepted by the developer community as a huge step towards open social data on the Web. Last week, Facebook brought its technology to iOS by introducing a new version of the Facebook SDK for iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad enhanced with the Graph API and OAuth 2.0 protocol. Together with the already available Facebook SDK for Android, you can now utilize both APIs and build social apps across two major mobile platforms.
Wonder what the Graph API brings new and how you can utilize it in your apps? Through the Graph API you gain the access to the core of the Facebook platform. It enables you to read and write data and gives you a consistent view of the social graph. The graph uniformly represents objects (e.g., people, photos, events, and pages) as well as connections between them (e.g., friendships, likes, and photo tags). Not only you can query all of this information but also utilize it through the API in conjunction with your smart phone’s capabilities.
The SDK’s development documentation explains three major tasks you can do with this SDK. By using OAuth 2.0 protocol, you prompt users to log in to Facebook and grant access permissions to your application. When you obtain OAuth access token, you can then make Graph API and REST API requests. The SDK also supports so-called WebView HTML dialogs that simplify development of UI interactions with some of Facebook’s core functionalities. For example, you can easily create a dialog for posting wall messages without drowning into details of the native iOS UI development and passing data to Facebook though the API.
There are a number of companies that have already started to work on social apps on top of the previous version of the SDK, including gaming behemoth Electronic Arts and two startups that have APIs of their own: Foursquare and Zynga. The Facebook SDK’s new version with the Graph API will ease your apps development and distributions, as well as improve your users’ engagement and mobile experience.