So iOS does have a form of 'intents'?

So one of the big complaints about iOS that it lacks of intents.

It's an area where Android is clearly superior, moving documents and data from one app to another. And something many people hope to be improved upon in future versions

But I was dealing with a PDF on my iPhone and realised that iOS does have intents, even if more limited than Android.

Example case. I took a PDF from Chrome for iOS, sent it to Dropbox from there, then from Dropbox to iBooks. I then emailed it to myself and from within Mail I was then able to move it again to Dropbox, Chrome, iBooks etc...

Now it's worth noting that it's not like Facebook or Twitter where they are supported on a system level, this is 3rd party apps (Chrome, Dropbox) making themselves available to other apps and being able to move data between them.

Starting with the PDF in Chrome (note, it works the same in Safari).


As you can see, there are clearly options to send it to 3rd party apps that are able to open the document type.

I choose Dropbox...


Here it is, in Dropbox. Stored locally on the device and synced to my account.

I again have the option to 'open with...', again 3rd party apps are available, not supported on the system level (Chrome).

I choose iBooks.



Now it's in iBooks. Now iBooks doesn't have the 'send to...' feature strangely. Showing that this sharing and intents system is clearly limited.

Instead i email to myself.


And here it is. In Mail. Again I am presented with the 'Open with...' menu. And again, 3rd party apps, not supported on the system level are able to make themselves available to send to. Chrome, Dropbox etc....


So clearly iOS does have an intents system of some kind. I'm going to look into it further, install a couple of Office apps, video apps etc... and see if they yield similar results.

Obviously this still isn't Android level of app communication. But it is clear that the system is there and can (and should) be expanded upon.