New Document Support Feature In iPhone OS Gives Users An Option To Choose Preferred App To Open Files
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:
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.
- iPhone OS 4.0 Allows Users To Transfer Files
- iOS 4.1: HDR Photos Available Only To iPhone 4 Users; Hack To Enable the Feature For iPhone 3GS And iPhone 3G Users
- Owncloud 6 Brings Collaborative Open Document Format Editing to the Web
- Google Apps Users Can Now Choose If They Want Immediate or Scheduled New Feature Releases
- VoiceActivator: Jailbreak Tweak To Enhance iPhone’s Voice Control Feature; Will Allow You To Launch Apps, Open URLs & More