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New Document Support Feature In iPhone OS Gives Users An Option To Choose Preferred App To Open Files

April 17th, 2010 04:23 admin Leave a comment Go to comments

iPad document support

If you have been working with documents on your iPad, you might have come across a new feature on the iPhone OS 3.2 that lets iPad users to "pass" a file from one app to the other. The new feature is called Document Support, gives users the option to choose their preferred app to open a document.

The feature can be accessed by tapping and holding the document's icon which will display a popover with a list of apps that are compatible with the document format.

Document Support allows app developers to register their app as a designated handler for specific file formats. Once done, other applications may employ this functionality to render a list of apps that can open files of a particular format. For instance, if an app registers itself as a designated handler for PDF documents, this information can be used by the native mail application to offer users an option to view PDF documents with this particular application. 

As MacWorld notes, the decision to offer users a choice to open documents in an alternate platform rests with the original app that the user is on. This is significant in that it allows communication between apps without compromising on the sandbox nature of App Store apps.

Another significant aspect of Document Support is the 'Quick Look' functionality. With Quick Look, users can preview contents of a document in a sliding panel before opening it with an appropriate app. However, this is presently incorporated as a private API, which can only be accessed by Apple's in-house applications. Apple has however indicated that the feature shall be made public with iPhone OS 4

Here are few screenshots of Document Support:

iPad document support

iPad document support

While the feature itself is pretty common among computer platforms, it is quite unique to a smartphone platform, so it's good to see Apple adding Document Support in iPhone OS and is a step in the right direction. 

Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.  

[via MacWorld]

Source: New Document Support Feature In iPhone OS Gives Users An Option To Choose Preferred App To Open Files

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