Thursday, August 27, 2015

Facebook App Changes iOS System Share Sheets

Chris Adamson:

In a nutshell, Facebook doesn’t want developers pre-populating posts for users, at all. It’s not good enough to allow the user to edit or delete the post you’ve prepared for them, you can’t offer them post contents at all.

And somehow, they are able to enforce this programmatically.

My boss was gobsmacked when I told him this on Slack and could hardly believe it. Can Facebook seriously hack the iOS frameworks to get this behavior? How is that technically possible, and even if they can, how are they still in the App Store?

Or, does Apple let them do it? One plausible scenario here is that since Facebook and Apple are special friends – enough so to have Facebook deeply integrated into Settings, Contacts, and elsewhere – iOS looks to see if the Facebook app is present, and hands off the compose logic to a controller provided by Facebook if so.

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This is something I've previously argued with Facebook about on Android, too. On Android, the Facebook app claims to accept text that's posted to it via an Intent. Except if you post text to it that doesn't include a link, it just disappears your text and opens up a blank status update.

Eventually I built a Facebook Graph application and posted links to that into the Facebook app, which was a complicated nightmare, but appears to be what Facebook expects you to do :(

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