Yes, Mark Zuckerberg knows that Facebook on Android needs some major changes. This week, Facebook took a step in the right direction to help solve the problem: the company is working to embrace app developers on the Android platform. How are they doing that? Well, for starters, they've thrown out a major update for the Android SDK (software development kit) in the hopes of encouraging more developers to create apps that utilize the vast features and network of Facebook.
With a smoother and simpler process, the Facebook SDK is meant to boost promotion of distribution of new apps and allow for better social integration. The SDK is backwards compatible with previous versions, so developers won't have to start from scratch if they already have apps available. (All developers breathe a sigh of relief here.)
New features for the SDK include…
- The Friend Picker – app users can tag friends or see which of their friends also installed the app
- Places Picker – view relevant locations nearby
- Profile Picture control – show the photo for people / places / things in the app
- Improved Login controls – manage permissions more easily
Even if the Facebook app itself isn't ready to move forward, we'll be able to count on other Android apps making better use of Facebook connectivity.
Android Developer Center
Of course, the SDK improvements are great news for Android developers who are already familiar with Facebook interfacing, but what about new developers? Jumping into a project like connecting an app to Facebook seems like an intimidating process.
Enter the Android Developer Center. Facebook wants to help educate developers who are considering connecting up their apps. Tutorials, documentation, and sample code are all available to help get developers up to speed on the available functionality.