Apple has today announced new extensibility support for developers in iOS 8, enabling third-party developers to further extend functionality offered in apps across the variety of categories. The main advancement is allowing third-party apps to offer services to another installed app, essentially providing features in other experiences without requiring the consumer to switch between multiple instances. There are some cool new changes detailed.
As well as developers now allowed to communicate with other installed apps and offer services, everything is relayed through iOS keeping the whole process sandboxed and it's simple to get started by using the sharing pane. This helps bring consumers up to speed with shared services without providing too much (or too little) information. If you're not happy with how apps and services co-exist in iOS 7, you'll be pleased to hear this will be a thing of the past with the upgrade.
Extensions can be included in apps like Safari — they demoed the Bing app providing inline translation right within the browser from the Share pane. Photo filters in the Photos app can be provided by third-party apps such as VSCO, bringing some really cool effects to boot. With smartphones amping up the competition when it comes to photography, it makes sense for Apple to provide more choice when it comes to editing and sharing photos.
Moving on to documents in iCloud Drive. Third-party apps are able to integrate into the app and display content for users to access. Finally, Notification Center widgets were touched on with eBay bidding being demonstrated on-stage. These little extensions will enable consumers get more out of their iOS apps without having to fire them up, both conserving battery and improving the user experience.
Remain tuned to our feeds for more details from WWDC 2014.