photo app link Apple Open In...

Apple’s Open In… (left) and Photo App Link (right)

The team behind iOS developer library PhotoAppLink have decided to shut down the technology, citing changes in the upcoming iOS 7.

PhotoAppLink was an open source library allowing iPhone photo apps to launch other participating photo apps while passing along the current image. It was a pretty spiffy technology for an iPhoneography workflow, but with subsequent improvements in Apple’s own “Open In…”, I found PhotoAppLink was becoming increasingly unused and unneeded. More about this after the jump. >>>

We covered PhotoAppLink a couple of years ago. Created as a collaboration between several iOS developers, PhotoAppLink was a free library other developers could build into their apps which allowed users to “move” an image throughout multiple photo apps without ever having to save it. This reduced both camera roll clutter and image degradation from multiple saves.

At the time, I felt PhotoAppLink was the better solution. It would preview multiple pages of available apps, whereas Apple’s solution only let you preview a few of the available apps and there was no way to select which few. Pretty frustrating.

Since the feature’s introduction, Apple has improved “Open In…” to behave identically to PhotoAppLink and has allowed users to select from multiple pages of apps for a while now.

In the latest ReadMe on the PhotoAppLink GitHub, the developers state:

We are sorry to announce that PhotoAppLink is being phased out.

iOS7 removed support for shared named pasteboards, which breaks PhotoAppLink. We recommend that developers add support for photo sharing via the UIDocumentInteractionController instead.

PhotoAppLink will still continue to work in supported apps on iOS 6 and earlier until the end of the year, when we will stop serving the server side plist. However we will not accept any new applications any more.

This shouldn’t really have an adverse effect on existing apps, at least not for some time. It seems to me that apps that used PhotoAppLink have been phasing it out over time.

In its heyday, some pretty high-profile photo apps chose PhotoAppLink over Apple’s solution, including Color Splash, AutoStitch, Simply B&W, Squaready, Image Blender, LensFlare, LensLight and many others.

Many of those apps have already migrated to other solutions including Apple’s much-improved “Open In…”.