We can’t wait for iOS 8 to supercharge our trusty iPhones with Extensions. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
iOS 8 will bring Extensions to your iPhone and iPad. Extensions are essentially miniature versions of apps that can be run inside other apps. For instance, if you have Evernote installed on your iPhone, you could pop up the Evernote Extension when you’re running the Mail app, and save a snippet of that email to your Evernote account.
Clearly this is huge. It’s something that Android and Windows Phone users have enjoyed for a while, but Apple has – typically – taken its time to get it right. In fact, you have probably used Apple’s own “test” Extensions already: Whenever you see the Mail sheet roll down inside another app, or you access the built-in Twitter sharing box, you’re using an Extension.
But what kind of things can Extensions do for us? I’ve been thinking about that, and here’s a wish list of Extensions I’d love to see.
Here’s how to turn your inbox into a problem solver. Photo: Charlie Sorrell/Cult of Mac
They say your email inbox is a terrible place to manage tasks. I’d disagree. I think it’s the perfect place. After all, most of my tasks come in via email, and any app that can share information can share it via email. Why bother dickering with an extra app, keeping all that important stuff in two places, when it can all be easily managed in one spot?
I’ve been doing exactly this ever since I ditched OmniFocus, which is so long ago I can’t remember how long ago it was. With a little bit of setup in your everyday news and browsing apps, you can turn your inbox into a proper universal task list. Here’s how.
Prepare to have you socks blown off, and to know the exact GPS coordinates of the exact spot where those socks land. How? With Dr. Drang’s new Pythonista scripts which grabs your current location and writes it down in plain-text form. Better still, it does this using the Drafts app, so you can add location stamps to anything you like – journal entries, notes, or even pictures of your socks, over there in the corner of the room.
I’m pretty sure Urban Dictionary will have my back with this one…
Dictionaries, dusty tomes full of words. Books that are pointless now we can just tap a word and define it in-place. Who’d buy a dictionary app in 2013? Me. And you, probably, once you’ve seen what Terminology 3 has to offer.
Is there any end to the awesomeness of Drafts? The write-once-send-anywhere app for iOS has added a great new sharing feature for those using iOS 7, without developer Greg Pierce having to do anything. If you use AirDrop, you can send a chunk of text to anyone else with an AirDrop-capable device, even if they don’t have Drafts.
Drafts 3.0 for iPad and iPhone launches today, and it turns an already useful text-wrangling app into a note-taking powerhouse. Added are organization tools for your old drafts, way better Evernote integration, great compatibility with iOS native Reminders app plus an all-new Actions Directory. Let’s take a look:
If you imagined an iPad Evernote app, it’d probably look like this.
Use Evernote on iOS? Wish it had proper saved searches? Or note links? Wish it was a little faster to browse and find what you’re looking for? Then you might want to take a look at the rather excellent Clever HD for iPad, a full-featured Evernote client which could even replace the official app on your iDevice.
By the numbers: A simple Drafts action can remote control your Mac.
Wouldn’t it be neat if you could type “Hey MacBook, STFU!” into your iPhone’s text editor and – mere moments later – have your Mac do just that? Welcome to the nerdy world of automation, where you can remote control not just your computer but your whole home, just using plain text.
With a few simple tools you can control iTunes, turn your bedroom lights down low, and… well, you get the drift. And who said nerds weren’t sexy?