Nitobi, the company behind the PhoneGap mobile app development framework, has announced the launch of the PhoneGap Facebook Connect plugin (available on GitHub). The new plugin is designed to make it easier for developers to add Facebook's single sign-on functionality to mobile apps (built using PhoneGap, of course) that retrieve and use Facebook data.
Nitobi also took the opportunity to underline that PhoneGap is downloaded more than 40,000 times a month. The company thus says it is expecting that this new plugin, which it worked with Facebook to build, will also be popular.
Because users are typically already logged in to Facebook on their mobile devices, the plugin enables PhoneGap apps to skip the Facebook log in popup that asks for a username and password. It's also easier to implement: developers just have to wrap their web app in PhoneGap, this plugin, and add one line of code.
"We got working on a Facebook plugin because we're user experience advocates," Nitobi CTO Dave Johnson said in a statement. "The OAuth authentication workflow for a mobile app isn't ideal so we created the PhoneGap Facebook plugin as a way to streamline that process and improve the experience for the end user."
"The PhoneGap community is really behind plugins, which is why it was a major focus in the recent PhoneGap 1.0 release," Brian LeRoux, Senior Vice President of Software Development and Director of Developer Relations at Nitobi and PhoneGap Evangelist, said in a statement. "Continuing to improve and expand PhoneGap plugins is a big part of the PhoneGap agenda."