Thursday, September 20, 2012


It feels like an eternity since it was announced but iOS 6 is finally available to the masses, and we can now talk about the all the (few) new goodies that it contains.
Apple included the Social Framework in iOS 6 as an abstraction layer for accessing the various social services that are now included with iOS. The key feature here is that you never have to deal with the Facebook SDK again if you wish...
So let's explore how you can use the new Social framework classes to replace REST API access functionality that is provided via the Official Facebook SDK
TL;DR; Sample code

Create an ACAccountStore

According to Apple's developer documentation the ACAccountStore
[ACAccountStore] provides an interface for accessing, manipulating, and storing accounts. To create and retrieve accounts from the Accounts database, you must create an ACAccountStore object. Each ACAccount object belongs to a single ACAccountStore object.
A simple alloc && init sent to ACAccountStore will suffice. Perhaps the easiest thing you'll do this week.

Get the Facebook ACAccountType

The 2nd easiest thing you'll do this week

Request access to currently logged in Facebook User

Before the callback block is called the User will be presented with a UI to confirm that they want your app to have permission to access this API. In the event that initial permission has been revoked, or disabled you will be given a negative boolean value.

Select an authenticated ACAccount

Your block will need to reference your ACAccountStore instance in order to see which accounts you have access to. To actually access the accounts you need to call the accountsWithAccountType: method which returns a NSArray of ACAccount objects. Where the type argument is account type we got in the previous section.
Apple has designed the ACAccountStore class to support multiple authorised user accounts. While iOS 6 only supports a single Facebook account, it does support multiple Twitter accounts. So while it is safe to assume that first (and only entry) in this collection is the ACAccount you want to use, the same cannot be said when you are working with Twitter accounts. Ideally you would want to present a 'picker' UI to the end user.

Construct a SLRequest

SLRequest is the Social frameworks NSURL request abstraction to enable it to support request signing, and token passing, features used by Twitter and Facebook. The SLRequest class also has a convenience method for dispatching this request.
If you are a fan of request queuing, and application wide request management there is also the option to extract a prepared NSURLRequest object with you can then pass to something like an AFNetworking request operation (See below).

That's it! If you weren't able to string the process together in your head magically, you can view the entire gist. Thanks for reading!

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