Google embarrasses Sharedr, blocks third-party sharesheet apps starting with Android 12

Google embarrasses Sharedr, blocks third-party sharesheet apps starting with Android 12
Google has been allowing Android users to customize the sharesheet on their phones. This explains why the sharesheet on Android isn't as consistent as it could be. For those who would prefer to have a more uniform experience when sharing, third-party apps like Sharedr can be set as the default sharesheet instead of the Android version.

Let's take a minute to explain what the sharesheet is for those unfamiliar with the term. Whenever you share something on your phone and tap the appropriate button, a page comes up with a number of options to choose the recipient from. That is the sharesheet.

As noted by XDA Developers, Google doesn't want to share the sharesheet duties with a third-party app and won't starting with Android 12. This was discovered by Sharedr in the most embarrassing of ways. The latter filed a report with the AOSP bug tracker complaining that its sharesheet UI wasn't showing the prompt giving users the choice between the stock Android version and Sharedr, and the latter wasn't opening at all forcing the use of the official Android sharesheet.

Google responded to the filing by stating that the above was the intended behavior. In other words, Google was no longer allowing Sharedr to be used as a replacement for the official Android sharesheet but Sharedr didn't know that until Google responded to its bug tracker filing. We have to assume that when it comes to sharing data, Google wants a more uniform experience for Android users.

Google says, "We had never actually intended to allow apps to replace the share dialog, that Intent is for apps to launch the share dialog. Being able to replace the share dialog is also becoming increasingly impossible — you couldn’t implement the direct share part of the UI, nor the personal vs. work profile tabs in R (Android 12), etc. This is just not something that is feasible to allow apps to replace."

It isn't clear whether the new restriction will also force phone manufacturers such as Samsung away from creating their own sharesheet.

There are a couple of points that we need to make. If you are running Android 11 or older, you can still run Sharedr instead of the stock Android Sharesheet. And starting with Android 12, Sharedr and other Sharesheet alternatives can be used but only if, for example, you select Sharedr from the default Android Sharesheet and then pick the target to receive what you are sharing.

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