Two years ago Craig Federighi demoed iOS 8's "most profound" new ability at WWDC14 to thunderous applause on the third floor of Moscone West:
...that's extensibility. with extensibility applications from the app store will be able to extend the system and offer services to other apps.
That demo showed how a photo from the camera roll could be edited with Waterlogue's editing tools and interface — while still inside the camera roll (note the demo also implied, incorrectly, that VSCO would soon allow this as well), and highlighted how one could easily add new extensions, like Pinterest, to iOS 8's new share sheet. That this now seems so laughably trival underscores Federighi's characterization — extensibility has been such a huge boon for productivity on iOS that "profound" hardly does it justice. One almost wonders where we might be without it.
Well one place you might be is in Menlo Park, California — Instagram headquarters — where having recently flattened their icon to iOS 7 standards, they've now dusted off the developer documentation for extensibility and added an undocumented share extension in their latest version 8.2 update. And it comes just in time too, as they're only days away from beginning the apparent two-year process of trying to figure out what new iOS 10 feature they'll one day implement.
Given they've had two years to work on it, Instagram's "dare us to care" extension is disappointingly basic, essentially allowing users to circumnavigate the Instagram editing process and skip right to adding a caption to your photo in the most unimaginatively aesthetic way possible. It's just you, a small thumbnail, and a frighteningly large amount of white space — with no autofill help on the tags or usernames either.
Of course, seeing Instagram pop up in the Photos.app share sheet may seem novel for some, but I wouldn't be surprised if users of photography apps like VSCO, are forced to do a double take. That's because many of them are already likely familiar with the "Copy To Instagram" option, which when selected, would open the image in Instagram — now oddly ready for an apparent re-edit with Instagram's tools and filters. Obviously if you've just spent the last 5 minutes workflowing your way through VSCO's awkward interface, the last thing you'd want to do is a re-edit in Instagram — and now you have your solution — just use the new extension.
"Profound abilities." No, it really doesn't apply to Instagram's phoned in effort here, but with two years separating us from Federighi's words then, and 6 days separating us from WWDC16 now, it is sort of fun to ponder what Instagram update we'll be totally nonplussed about on the eve of WWDC18.