iPhone users: Do you love or loathe Quick Share in iOS 13?

Why won't Apple put users in control of the QuickShare menu in iOS 13's Share pane?

Apple, iOS 13, iPhone, QuickShare, Apple

I know lots of people who rely on iOS 13 and iPad OS for their business, but they aren’t necessarily getting much from using the QuickShare feature.

So why is it there?

What’s wrong with QuickShare?

QuickShare is that first row of names you see when you open up the Share pane from within almost any app in iOS 13. It is populated by the names of people you have most recently communicated with by Messages and nearby AirDrop shares.

However, the way the Share sheet works is that the far more useful Apps panel, which productivity workers are more likely to need is pushed down the screen, while the potentially even more useful scrolling Actions list is hardly visible at all – you have to scroll to get to it.

So, if I want to take a web page, tap print, and spread my fingers in order to very quickly create a PDF and then share that with multiple people using an app, I need to scroll down the display to find the tools I need. It adds friction to what should be a relatively straightforward process.

That’s not the only problem. If you make a lot of calls and send lots of messages as part of your day job, then the QuickShare item quickly becomes useless. The people and names offered by the feature soon become unwieldy – and given the fast flow of business communications, irrelevant.

I’ve also encountered quite a few people who actively don’t want that list of names to be made visible.

One talent agent friend of mine hates it, as when she tries to share items on her iPhone, any person she happens to be near can see the celebrity names and numbers she has on her device. While we all know the iPhone is the most private and secure mobile device money can buy, it’s still enough to raise concerns about privacy.

‘If you don’t like the feature, you can turn it off’

Apple is usually good about keeping people at the center of the experience. These days you can even delete most of Apple’s pre-installed apps – but you can’t switch off QuickShare.

  • You can’t edit it.
  • You can’t set it to contain just your most useful contacts.
  • You can’t relegate it to the lowest row on your iPhone so you can easily ignore it.
  • You can’t remove it.
  • You’re stuck with it.

QuickShare is a noise terrorist stealing prime screen real estate when you reach for the precious Share menu. That you cannot adjust it suggests you are not in full control of your iPhone. I see it as the iPhone equivalent of Microsoft’s deeply annoying ‘Clippy’ Office Assistant.

I realized it was time to call time on QuickShare when a friend of mine attempted to AirDrop images with me this morning.

“What is this list of names,” she asked me, knowing I have a little knowledge about such things. “I hate it, it gets in the way – I don’t want to see all those people there, and I don’t know why it’s there,” she said.

She was only saying what I've been thinking.

The users don’t like it

I know she isn’t alone. Hand on heart, I’ve received enough feedback on this feature to believe it to be among the least popular changes in iOS 13.

It gets in the way, reduces feelings of personal autonomy, and reminds us of how much data our devices gather about us, generating privacy fears.

Such fears may be surfaced in unexpected ways. Imagine how an abusive spouse might demand to review those connections in order to monitor those whom the person they bully communicates with?

People subject to abusive relationships of any kind (with spouse, colleagues, even governments) don’t always have the agency to refuse such access. Yet the information is there, clear to see, in the QuickShare menu.

The thing that makes it most abrasive is that you as a user can’t edit the contents of or disable this feature. After all, who needs it? You can start a phone call faster by asking Siri to dial your call than using QuickShare.

Not only this, but…

Sharing isn’t really what the Share pane is for

I don’t really see the Share menu as a place for sharing items with other people (though sometimes I use it for that), but as a place for sharing items between apps to get productive tasks done.

I’d like the power to switch this feature off. Or, at least some way to relegate it to the forgotten zone at the bottom of the Share pane where all those useful Shortcut workflows you’ve lovingly crafted currently hide.

Apple doesn’t need to eradicate QuickShare. I can’t help but imagine the feature has been introduced to form some kind of platform for future enhancements, so even though few people like it now, it may one day become something we can’t live without.


It's over to you, really. I can write what I like, but what do you think of QuickShare? Do you love it? Do you hate it? Do you even use it?

Please let me know on social media below.

Please follow me on Twitter, or join me in the AppleHolic’s bar & grill and Apple Discussions groups on MeWe.

Copyright © 2019 IDG Communications, Inc.

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