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  1. Thread AuthorThread Author   #1  
    flyingember's Avatar
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    Default App plugins for core apps

    I had an idea.

    Apple needs a plugin system to make apps work together

    let's use mail as an example.

    company X writes a medial spell checker app for doctors using a mail plugin interface API. when installed the user taps a button and the message flips over. you tap "Medical Spell Check" and it sends the text of your message over to the app, does what the app does and when you press finish sends changes back to mail, updating your message.

    the key part to make this work is this app when run as a plugin would have to run completely within mail. if you close and reopen mail it would still be there

    to make it better, these apps would not be "apps" but plugins. as such they would only show up under the settings app, not on the springboard taking up space

    there could also be a part of the plugin api that always runs the plugin before sending. A large company could distribute a plugin app with the setting changes locked down so non-execs can only use it to send email to company addresses.

    extend this so that companies could registerfor a plugin ID from Apple just like for notifications. Like let's say they make a invoicing app with a scanner. they get their plugin ID and publish it plus their data api standard for their app.

    Company Y wants to make a credit card processing app. they add the plugin API details into their app, write an input function and when both are installed just like a spell checker the first app figures the total, you tap send to App X to take the payment and it sends back the result of the transaction for the invoicing app to use. the cc processing app could do this with as many apps as they want to program plug into and the invoicing app doesn't care who connects as long as it follows their standard. When installing both apps register with the internal plugin API.

    I, as an iphone business user would see apps that work together as a reason to buy them. Some company could sell 5 apps that work together and you pick what you need. By splitting the functions apart they can focus on making each run fast and efficient and it becomes easy to upsell a premium feature. No free upgrades to get the ability to do reports, pay $5.
    Last edited by flyingember; 12-14-2009 at 10:35 AM.

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