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3rd Party Widgets, Keyboards, and Sharing All Finally Coming to iOS

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After reinventing the keyboard with predictive text in iOS 8, and trying its hand at Google Now-like integration and Google Voice, Apple moved on to a new SDK feature that they are calling “Extensions,” today at WWDC. What are extensions? Well, they do a number of things, like enable 3rd party widgets, sharing, and keyboards. Impressive, right?

So those keyboards, like Swype, Swiftkey, or any of the other four-dozen keyboards on Android that you all have had available for years, could potentially make their way to Apple, so that you could avoid using that impossible-to-type-on Apple ‘board. Apple enthusiasts should be throwing the biggest party in history, just for that announcement alone.

With sharing, that means that Dropbox or Box or Pinterest or a non-official Twitter app could build in the ability to share directly from an app. In the past, Apple only allowed specific apps to have this power, like the official Twitter app. But with this new 3rd party sharing extension, almost any developer can add in sharing. So on Android, how since the dawn of time, you were able to share things with any Twitter app you choose or to Instagram or to another browser or to WhatsApp, you will soon be able to do the same on iOS.

And finally, Widgets are here! Now, to be fair, Apple introduced their own closed-off widgets integration a while back – these are “widgets” that hang out in the notification pulldown. But now, with iOS 8, 3rd party developers can introduce widgets as well, all of which can be displayed in your notification pulldown. This may not be full-widget-integration with all sorts of control like you get on Android, but it is certainly a step ahead from where widgets used to be on iOS.

I’m sure we will have more. Stick with us for all the WWDC reinventions that a person can handle.

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  • JY

    what apple has done is take androids pros and added onto ios8 mainly the 3rd party keyboards, better sharing, the widgets are just notifications which I’m not too bothered about and the large screen advantage will be wiped with the iPhone 6 rumoured at 4.7 and 5.5 screens, ios7 is the best ui right now, stock android is slick but its a bit too plain, htc m8 has probably the best android skin right now but still the aesthetics and features are still behind, Sony z2 is like stock android plain for my taste but even worse with its Sony loaded apps, Lg g3 looks promising but even though the ui has had a refresh it looks abit ugly and Samsung new touchwiz is a improvement but its still slow and bloated and settings is a mess and has stuff that are pointless not the air gesture, things like the home screen mode in how there’s basic and easy, that function should just be removed, and the ui looks old like the phone, its too blocky, and its locked down by google, google now is amazing but the truly hands free ok google is only on moto x so apple will beat google at its own game by offering it to more people quicker, for me im waiting for 2015 phones

  • Destro

    When did the trivago guy start working for Apple?

  • Michael Harrison

    And in more important news…..I can’t wait to try out Swift. Potential game changer if it’s as good as Apple says it is.

  • https://soundcloud.com/goodvibestribe a.d.AM

    I do like that direct response in the notification panel though.

  • RoadsterHD1

    Forgetabotit..