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How to share content with UIActivityViewController

Paul Hudson       @twostraws

Before iOS 6.0 was released there were a number of third-party libraries that tried to simplify the sharing of content, but even with those libraries in place it was still far too hard. Fortunately, Apple added UIActivityViewController, a class that makes sharing to any service as simple as telling it what kind of content you have.

The nice thing about UIActivityViewController is that it automatically takes advantage of the apps the user has installed. If they have configured Twitter, they can post tweets; if they have configured Facebook, they can post to their timeline; if they have a printer configured, they can print your images; and more. It takes no extra work from you: you just tell iOS what kind of content you want to share, and it does the rest.

Here's how you share an image:

if let image = UIImage(named: "myImage") {
    let vc = UIActivityViewController(activityItems: [image], applicationActivities: [])
    present(vc, animated: true)
}

And here's an example of sharing a text and an image:

let shareText = "Hello, world!"

if let image = UIImage(named: "myImage") {
    let vc = UIActivityViewController(activityItems: [shareText, image], applicationActivities: [])
    present(vc, animated: true)
}

If you want to share a URL to a website, make sure you wrap it up in a URL first.

Available from iOS 6 – see Hacking with Swift tutorial 3

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