Extensions in iOS 8
One of the new features in iOS 8 and Yosemite is Extensions, technology that allows apps to communicate with one another, while still being protected as sandboxed apps. This is a key feature that will greatly enhance the usability of iOS and restore some of the usability that was originally sacrificed when Apple started getting serious about sandboxing in OS X Mountain Lion.
With Extensions, iPhone owners will finally be able to replace their system keyboard, password-storing apps could actually be used to help you login to websites, and lots of apps could feed data to the Today view in Notification Center. Other possibilities include sharing data between apps, photo editing extensions, and greater access to files stored in other iOS apps.
Apple only announced Extensions in June during the company's annual World Wide Developers Conference, but a handful of developers have already committed to the technology. We think this is an important step in the continuing evolution of both iOS and OS X, and so we compiled a list. Notably, three of the first five announcements are for replacement keyboards.
Be sure to let me know when you announce your Extension, and I'll add it to this list:
- SwiftKey is working on a version of it's keyboard for iOS 8.
- Swype, another keyboard alternative, has announced an iOS version and you can sign up for their newsletter to find out when it is released.
- Fleksy, a third alternate keyboard, has announced plans for iOS 8 and you can sign up on their site to try out the beta if you like.
- 1Password is using both the Touch ID option (for unlocking vaults) and the Safari extension in iOS 8 betas (find out more at 9to5 Mac).
- Philips has shown off screenshots of their Notification Center extension on its Twitter account.
Bryan Chaffin contributed to this article.