Apple is changingthe way the Share button works in iOS 13 and iPad OS. What are those changes, how will they work and how can you manage them?
The growing importance of Apple’s Share Sheet
The share button hasn’t been around since the inception of iPhone. Apple introduced it with iOS 8 in 2014 and the feature lets you share items such as documents, images, and other items between apps, services and other people.
It’s quite possibly the most important control on your device, as it enables you to open items in different apps, save things to different storage services, as well as making it easy to share files.
When available, the feature is accessed when you tap the small square with an arrow emerging from inside of it.
When you get to using iOS 13 you’ll be aware of some changes in how the Share Sheet you summon using the Share button looks.
How the Share Sheet changes in iOS 13
The first thing you’ll notice is that the design of the Share Sheet has changed. Colors have been tweaked and icons cleaned up a little.
The second thing you’ll become aware of is that what the Sheet offers you has also changed.
The first row now offers local AirDrop volumes (as before), but adds intelligent recommendations of people you might want to talk to based on AI. I believe Apple is offering APIs so other relevant apps can appear in the first row.
The second row remains a quick and easy way to access apps – though the AI in your device will prioritize apps it thinks are relevant to the content you are interacting with.
The third row has gone to be replaced by a scrollable list of actions and shortcuts. These include the actions you are used to (Copy, Add to Home Screen, Create PDF) and adds Siri Shortcuts suggestions. These actions/shortcuts are contextual, so you should only get actions that work with the content you are looking at.
Apple has tweaked the third-row actions list since it shipped the initial iOS 13 beta: Users had complained that the list of actions could become long and cumbersome. Apple now offers several ways to put a little order to this list-based chaos.
And it also has Dark Mode…
How to organize the Actions list
In order to improve the experience, Apple has introduced sections to make it easier to organize the order in which Actions are presented.
You access these tools by scrolling to the bottom of the Share menu and tapping Manage.
Here you’ll find Favorites (the actions you use most often) at the top, followed by actions specific to the current app (such as Add Bookmark in Safari) and other actions.
To add an action to favorites: Look closely and you’ll see that every listed action has a green plus sign to the left of it. To add an action to your Favorites just tap that green icon (Actions already in Favorites are signified by a red minus sign, tap this to remove them for that section).
To reorder items: You can change the order of appearance of Favorite actions by long pressing and dragging the action into a more relevant and useful position.
To enable and disable actions: While Apple’s system actions can’t be disabled it is possible to enable and prevent third-party actions. To do so, just uncheck the check box to the right of the action.
To add Shortcuts: MacStories’ Federico Vittici (who may well be one of the nicest people in Mac publishing) notes that you can also add Shortcuts to your actions list. Please read this article for more information on Shortcuts in iOS 13.
A few additional changes
If you use Safari, you now also get new options that let you email a web page as a link, as a PDF or in Reader view from the share sheet.
You can access the options for any app by tapping the blue Options button at the top of the share sheet. By default, this is set to Automatic.
When sharing a photo or video from Photos you will be given control over whether you with to share your location data within that image.
You’ll also find redesigned sharing icons and a range of additional share items in Photos – it’s important to review the share options in all the apps you use the most, as the contextual sharing items may be slightly different in some of them.
Please drop me a line if you come across any additional changes in sharing on iOS.
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