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direct share


Share menu changes in Android Q Beta 3: No more app pinning, 8 Direct Share targets instead of 4

We've been very vocal about our irritation with Android's slow, buggy, and inconsistent Share menu. Prior to Android Q's release, we learned that Google was working on fixing it, and we started seeing the fruits of that change in Beta 1 and 2 thanks to a new push system that lets apps show their targets in the menu vs the pull system that was used before. In Q Beta 3, there are two changes to the native Share menu, one of which is a welcome comeback and the second a sad removal.

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Pushbullet adds support for bundled notifications, quick replying, and more [APK Download]

After more than two years without a major update, Pushbullet rose from the dead last month with a ton of new features. The app received a new bottom navigation bar, adaptive icon support, and a dark mode (if you have Pushbullet Pro). Another update has now arrived, with even more long-requested features.

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Android P DP4 trims down the Direct Share targets to 4 instead of 8

It's no secret that we're not the biggest fans of Android's Share menu. A couple of months ago, I wrote an exposé detailing everything that's wrong with it, including its slowness, inconsistency, and the mess that is Direct Share. With Android P Developer Preview 4, which was released yesterday, Google decided to do one thing about it, but it's not what you think: Direct Share targets have been reduced to four.

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Google, please fix Android's slow, bloated share UI

Sharing from one app to another has been a mainstay of Android for years and years. It was one of the features that first drew me to Android: no more copying and pasting, no more having to open Twitter or WhatsApp to send a picture I just saw in my Gallery. Apps could talk to each other and the experience felt cohesive and seamless.

But with time, the Share UI in Android has languished, stuck with the same features and problems. It switched from a vertical list to a grid, it added direct share in Android 6.0 and app pinning in Android 7.0, yet these felt like putting lipstick on a pig: the Share UI remains slow, bloated, convoluted, and if you pay close attention to it, one of the most inconsistent experiences on Android to date.

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Instagram now supports Android's direct share menu

Android's direct share feature debuted on Marshmallow and makes it easy to share links or media from any app on your phone. You can use it with most popular messaging services, email clients, and even note-taking apps like Keep. To be able to share directly to an app, the maker of that app needs to implement direct share, so there are still some apps it doesn't work with. Instagram was on that list until pretty recently, but not anymore.

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Allo 2.0 adds direct replies, GIF keyboard support, direct share, and more [APK Download]

Allo received a mixed response when it was released a little over a month ago. Trying to switch your friends and family to yet another messaging client, especially one lacking in features (even compared to Google's other services), is difficult. Not long after its introduction, Allo's ranking tanked on the Play Store and App Store.

Can the first major update, version 2.0, be enough to convince people to switch? I doubt it, but I have to give Google some credit for trying.

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Facebook Messenger gains Direct Share on Marshmallow and above

Facebook Messenger, mostly just referred to as Messenger these days, (or "I'll send you a link on Facebook") has improved at a rate of knots over the last year or so. It's had a material overhaul, nicknames and color functions added, group calling, games, new emojis, SMS support, and probably a lot more. Today another new feature has arrived Messenger, especially for Android: Direct Share.

In my travels across the web, I've seen many people asking for this feature. Well, now it's here, and it works as well as you'd expect it to. Find a tweet, reddit post or comment, a link, anything that brings up Android's share menu, and if you're running at least version or above (thanks, Alexander Sofinskiy), plus Android 6.0 Marshmallow or 7.0 Nougat, you should see your most-messaged people appear in the Direct Share menu above the apps.

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Inbox gets Direct Share to frequently emailed contacts on Marshmallow and above [APK Download]

Messaging and communication apps are some of the best targets of Marshmallow's Direct Share API. Instead of first picking up an app to share something to and then selecting a target contact, if an app has implemented the functionality, your most frequently contacted people within it will appear at the top-level of the Share menu, above the different app icons. It's a faster and more streamlined experience that I personally love and use several times a day on WhatsApp.

Now Google's own Inbox app is implementing the same feature. Contacts you email often will, presumably, show up in the Share menu so you can quickly send stuff their way without having to choose Inbox first and then manually enter them as recipients of the email.

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Hangouts v10.0 For Android Adds Direct Share Support (APK Download)

Hangouts for Android version 10.0 is now available for download - the big feature add? Direct share support, allowing you to share content directly to your commonly-used Hangouts contacts straight from the share menu. For big Hangouts users, this is a huge convenience when sending things like photos, videos, or even just simple links.

nexus2cee_Screenshot_20160601-183407 Screenshot_20160601-184810

The version 10.0 APK doesn't contain any other major changes that we've yet found. We did notice, as in the right-hand side image, that the send button now has a drop-shadow when it's grayed out. So that's something. But direct share appears to be the big update for now, with Hangouts for iOS also having been updated to v10 today.

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