WWDC: Apple adds AI to the iOS 13 Share pane
Apple’s Share Sheet comes in for several changes in iOS 13, which attempts to make it both easier and more logical to navigate – the company said it wanted to make it possible to share items in a single tap with these enhancements.
Sharing with a little intelligence
While the overall Share Sheet design remains more or less the same as before, Apple has added a layer of intelligence and tried to make it easier to find the specific sharing command you are looking for.
At first glance, the intelligence appears to be in the top row within Share.
In iOS 12, this only offers AirDrop shares. In iOS 13 it still does shares (denoted by an AirDrop icon), but adds intelligent suggestions of recommended contacts you might want to share something with.
Context is everything
These recommendations are smart – for example, if you are sharing a photo you might find that a person included within the image is a recommended contact. If you are sharing a document then iOS may seek to share the item with people who may be related to the content of the document.
This is quite useful as if you do happen to see the right person you wish to share something with in the Share pane list then you’re good to go – one tap and it will get to them.
Naturally, all the processing for these features takes place on the device. Apple doesn’t know. Only you and your device know what smart recommendations are being made.
On first glance, the second row inside the Share pane remains very much the same, consisting of a collection of recommended apps with which you can share an item.
The thing is, these appearances are deceiving as Apple’s on-device AI will parse the content you’re choosing to share in order to list apps in what it thinks are the most logical apps you might need to access. Apps are intelligently sorted based on the content you’re sharing.
A new list view for actions
The third row looks very different. It has turned into a scrollable list detailing all the available actions: Copy, Add to Home Screen, Create PDF and Print, for example.
Apple has also augmented existing actions in this section with new ones provided by Siri Shortcuts suggestions. You can edit those offered to you here if you want to reduce clutter, but it’s a good way to automate some repetitive tasks when sharing items.
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These are all contextual, so if you are sharing an iCloud Drive item, you’ll also find specific shortcuts for using ‘Drive, such as Add People (for collaboration) or Add Tags.
Apple has also introduced customization options for sharing, so you can strip location information or Live Photo frames from something before you share it, helping you keep a little more private.
What else is new in Sharing on iOS 13?