iOS has let us copy, paste, and print for quite some time now, but iOS 8 shook things up, allowing developers to build action extensions right into their apps that make them more useful and intuitive than ever. With action extensions, you no longer have to copy a password from your favorite password management app or use an in-app browser; instead, you can call it up via the Share sheet whenever you need it. You can also perform translations on the fly, thanks to apps like Bing Search, or even add a delivery to your favorite tracking app with just a tap. Read on for some of our favorite apps that support action extensions!
Workflow automation has come to iOS and oh, how glorious it is. Ever wanted a task like saving photos from Safari to Dropbox to be simpler? With Workflow, pretty much everything can be simpler. From saving photos to creating GIFs in a few taps, Workflow lets you create any number of actions that you can trigger right within the Share sheet.
The Bing Search app is just what it sounds like — an easy way to access Bing Search. As an action extension, however, it's much more than that. Once enabled, you can use Bing to translate any webpage to your native language. That means if you ever stumble across a website that you can't read, just pull up the Share sheet and tap on the Bing translate button. Voila, you're done! It doesn't get much easier than that.
1Password is a password management app that not only securely stores all your passwords, logins, and other kinds of credentials, but also can help you generate safer and stronger passwords. As an action extension, 1Password lets you quickly autofill that information into just about any form. When you find something you need to fill, just tap the Share button and select 1Password. It pulls your stored data right from the app, letting you easily access the password or information you need. 1Password can be downloaded for free but required a $9.99 in-app purchase to unlock premium features.
Dashlane is a password management app similar to 1Password: The main difference between the two is that while 1Password has a higher up-front cost for the entire suite, Dashlane offers subscriptions to fit your needs. Aside from storing your passwords and logins, Dashlane can also help you generate super-strong passwords. In terms of action extensions, Dashlane is available anywhere and can be triggered from any Share sheet for all your password and autofill needs.
If I'm including Dashlane and 1Password, I can't leave LastPass out. Aside from having an action extension that autofills passwords and logins, LastPass can be used with other kinds of useful services such as Google Authenticator, password sharing between families, and much more. For anyone that needs more than just your run-of-the-mill password manager, LastPass is a great choice.
PDF Converter by Readdle lets you quickly convert just about anything into a PDF document, and with action extensions, you don't even have to launch the app. Instead, call it up via the Share button and convert any Safari page — or content from another app — into a PDF that you can then send off to anyone you'd like.
Anyone who needs to track a lot of packages knows the value of having an all-in-one place to do everything. Deliveries is not only awesome at tracking every kind of package imaginable, it also includes a Today widget so that you can track everything at a glance and an action extension so you can quickly add tracking numbers right from Safari without having to copy, paste, or even launch the Deliveries app.
Pocket Informant is one of the most feature-packed calendar and reminder apps you can find. The premium version can even sync directly with Google, Toodledo, and Evernote. And its action extension lets you send things directly to Pocket Informant right from the web or within apps that are supported. Creating tasks and reminders just got a heck of a lot easier.
Things is a task and project management app that's available for the iPhone, iPad, and Mac. You can add tasks to Things and sort them later, create individual projects to manage, and much more. With action extensions, you can send items from Safari or other apps directly to Things, no app opening necessary.
Zip files and the iPhone have rarely played nice together. With Zip-It, not only is it easy to view the contents of compressed archives, you can do it in as little as two taps thanks to action extensions. View a zip file in Safari and open it right through the Zip-It extension. The Zip-It app also lets you password-protect zipped files, view contents without actually opening them, and store things in iCloud Drive.
View Source is an app and action extension that lets you view the source code of any web site. Just call up the extension in Safari and tap it. You'll instantly be shown the source code. You can also view assets and stylesheets, and copy them right to your own photo library. View Source has lots of other useful features within the app for simple source code browsing.