On Tuesday, August 20, Facebook released an update for its mobile app that allows Android developers to take advantage of features that were released for the Apple iOS operating system earlier this year.
According to Kurt Wagner of Mashable, "Facebook announced an update on Tuesday to its software developer kit (SDK) for Android that lets app users share to Facebook without having to log in to the network. Developers can now add a line of code to their apps that allows users to push content from the app to their Facebook page. If a user is already logged in to Facebook on their phone, they won't need to log in again to share content, tag friends or share their location.
"Facebook released this same sharing feature for iOS in April. Tuesday's update puts Facbook's Android SDK on par with the iOS SDK, meaning there is nothing developers can do on one operating system that they can't also do on the other, according to Facebook."
Natasha Lomas of TechCrunch gave a brief overview of the new sharing feature and two other potentially useful upgrades.
According to Lomas, "The new features in Facebook’s Android SDK include:
"Share Dialog – which makes it easier for developers to build in-app activity sharing to their apps so users don’t have to log in to Facebook to share what they’re doing in the app to the social network. 'With one line of code, developers can enable people to skip three extra steps and immediately share to Facebook'
"Object API – which makes it easier for developers to integrate Open Graph into Android apps. As per iOS, Android developers 'can now directly create Open Graph objects, and no longer need to host webpages with Open Graph tags'
"Redesigned Login [user interface] – again, as with the iOS SDK, the focus in on Facebook loading faster on mobile devices."
This update is important for developers because most of the successful Android apps feature Facebook integration.
According to Lomas, "... more than 73 percent of the top 100 grossing Android apps integrate with Facebook versus 87 percent of the top 100 grossing iOS apps."
If anyone in the greater Spokane area is currently working on a mobile app, these new features could offer some nice benefits when creating the Android version. They could also play a key role in the app's success. Currently, Android users are downloading more apps than people who prefer to use Apple devices such as the iPhone.
According to a recent App Annie article, "app downloads in Google Play were about 10 percent higher than those in the [Apple] iOS App Store."
The article goes on to say that Apple apps still earn more money (2.3 times as much revenue, to be precise), but this update could still help a lot of new apps catch on with people who use Android phones and other devices running that operating system. If somebody in the Spokane area is currently in his or her garage working on the next big social media app, these new tools could open a whole new market for it.