Android Police

Articles Tagged:

direct share

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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 88.0.0.11.69 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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Twitter Supports Direct Share On Marshmallow: Send DMs To Your Recent Contacts With One Tap

Twitter has a bit of a love/hate relationship with mobile platforms and Android in particular. On the one hand, it's so aggressively possessive and wants an exclusive relationship devoid of any third-parties, on the other it updates its apps at a nice pace and adds new features to them. Oh well, it did let Android users hang behind iOS more than once, but we're not holding grudges.

After adding a share button to send tweets as Direct Messages, Twitter is working on another feature to make DMs easier to use in its app: Direct Share support on Marshmallow. So just like you can immediately send a photo to a specific WhatsApp contact or a link to one Pushbullet device, you can now share those or any random data from other apps directly to a Twitter DM conversation.

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Android 6.0.1 Fixes The Annoying "Jumping" Behavior Of The Share Menu Caused By Direct Share Contacts

If you're on Android 6.0 and use the share menu regularly, you may have encountered a rather annoying issue with Android's Direct Share feature. The issue arises when the share dialog pops open and the direct share contacts don't load immediately. Instead, the UI loads, you go to tap what you want, and suddenly the direct share contacts appear and all the app share links get pushed down out of view. See the animations below for the Android 6.0 and 6.0.1 behaviors side by side - the broken version is on the left.

 

Left: Android 6.0 behavior. Right: Android 6.0.1 behavior.

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WhatsApp 2.12.367 Goes Live In The Play Store With Starred Messages, Rich Link Previews, And Direct Share On Marshmallow

WhatsApp has been getting frequent beta updates that brought a lot of goodies to the app, and it's finally time for the Play Store version of the app to receive these. Version 2.12.367 has just gone live on the official Play Store channel and it brings with it the different new features that we've recently discussed: rich link previews, starred messages, and direct share on Marshmallow.

When you try to share any URL to WhatsApp, like YouTube links, tweets, webpages, and more, WhatsApp will parse the address quickly and give you a nice thumbnail image and title to send along with your link. That way, you can easily skim through the links that have been shared and the recipient gets to know what that page you just sent them is all about before opening it.

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