iOS Share Extension Could Use Some Help

I’ve been using the OF share extension ever since it was first released (I believe on iOS 8?), and while I appreciate that it exists, there are a lot of areas that I find lacking with regards to its functionality. I know that the ethos of the extension is to be a simple way to get stuff into your inbox, however I think that it’s just making it less useful for the sake of simplicity and taking a hands-off approach. There are small things that can be done to improve the experience and be a boon for people who use the extension regularly, or people who have forgotten its existence entirely in favor of other approaches. I’ll go into a bit of detail on how I think can be improved.

  • I tend to rely on a combination of flags/defer dates, with the occasional due date sprinkled in there for things that are really important. However, none of these fields are available in the extension. It could just be a flag icon outline, a clock that expands to a place to enter due dates, something–anything to just add that in and not have me go into it later to fix
  • It’d be really handy to be able to parse TaskPaper syntax, something already supported by OmniFocus in other areas, to the extension. This would even allow for flagging/deferring/due-dating etc. and you wouldn’t have to add anything to the interface
  • When tapping on “Project” or “Context”, I think that it’d be a good idea to just automatically scope to the search field and bring up the keyboard, as the project/context that I’m looking for probably isn’t at the top of the list. When adding a task in OF itself, that is how the project/context field behaves when you tap into it, so I think it should carry over to make the experience more consistent.
  • Design: I would really like for the design of this extension to be updated to give it more flavor. Add some purple, throw some icons around, etc. Do something to make it look like anything other than the default interface that comes with extensions on iOS.

I haven’t seen many people discuss improvements to the extension since its inception, so I wanted to bring it up now. Is this something that people use regularly? Do people just generally rely on other apps integrating with OmniFocus better? I feel like a lot of people ignore it because so many apps integrate well with OmniFocus, however there are things the extension does so poorly that I’ve essentially been relying on Drafts as a replacement entirely, since sending things to OmniFocus through there will parse the TaskPaper syntax.

Would love to hear if there are plans to improve upon the current extension in the future.

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Just one thing to note on TaskPaper integration, there’s actually a Workflow action for parsing TaskPaper syntax into OmniFocus. I’m also pretty sure it use’s Omni’s flavour of taskpaper too, which is able to represent flagging/contexts/due+defer dates etc. Could work for you in the mean time.

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I actually mentioned that I use Drafts’ extension to parse the TaskPaper syntax in the meantime, but thanks for that Workflow as well! Always looking for ways to improve my capturing in OF :)