Facebook Releases Beta of SDK for Android

Facebook delivers a beta release of its software development kit (SDK) for Android.

Facebook has delivered a beta release of its software development kit (SDK) for Android.

The Facebook development team demonstrated the beta at the Google I/O developer conference in San Francisco May 19-20. The new SDK enables strong authentication using OAuth 2.0, making requests to the new Facebook Graph API, publishing stories back to Facebook via Feed forms.

In a post describing the new SDK, Steven Soneff, an engineering intern on the Facebook Mobile Platform team, said the library is very simple. With only a few lines of Java, your application can become social.

Android is Google's rapidly emerging smartphone operating system that some analysts believe will rival the top-selling Symbian OS for the top spot in the market. Worldwide shipments of smartphones will surpass 390 million units by 2013, predicts IDC, with the two most popular mobile operating systems being Symbian and the Android platform.

Hoping to capitalize on that momentum, Facebook released its SDK for Android.

"Over 100 million people use Facebook on their mobile phones every month, and Android is one of the fastest growing mobile platforms," Soneff said. "We're open-sourcing tools and example code that make it simple for the thousands of Android developers to integrate Facebook Platform into their applications and reach a large and ever-growing mobile audience."

Facebook's Graph API, introduced at the Facebook F8 developer conference in April, attempts to drastically simplify the way developers read and write data to Facebook. It presents a simple, consistent view of the Facebook social graph, uniformly representing objects in the graph (e.g., people, photos, events and fan pages) and the connections between them (e.g., friend relationships, shared content and photo tags).

To get started with the Facebook SDK for Android, download it from GitHub.