With iOS 8, Apple has opened its famously closed ecosystem a bit, allowing developers to create app extensions that hook into Apple's own apps. Yesterday, I covered how to set up photo-editing extensions that let you use the edit tools of third-party photo apps without leaving Apple's own Photos app where all of your photos reside. Similarly, iOS 8's Action extensions let you use a variety of third-party apps without leaving Safari.
I am currently using three apps as Action extensions in Safari: 1Password, Promofly and Bing Translator from the Bing app. With these three extensions, I can enter any of my passwords for sites that require I log in, find promo codes when shopping, and translate a Web page -- all without needing to leave and then return to Safari. And the first two carry the added bonus of saving me from any copying and pasting.
To set up an Action extension, tap Safari's share button located in the middle of the bottom row of buttons. From the pop-up share/action panel, you will see a colorful row of icons that are your sharing options. Below that is a row of black-and-white icons that are your action options, which include Add Bookmark, Add to Reading List, Copy and Print. Scroll all the way to the right and tap the More button.
From the Activities menu, you will see any installed apps that support Action extensions listed below the default Action options. Tap the toggle switch to enable an Action extension for an app and add it to the row of Action options on the share/action panel. Also, from the Activities list, you can drag items to reorder them. Alternatively, you can tap and hold on an Action icon from the share/action panel to change their order.
Are you using Action extensions in Safari? If so, which are your favorites?