Android 12 to stop 3rd party apps from customizing share sheet

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The share sheet menu on your Android device is pretty helpful but the UI is different from every app as Google doesn’t require apps to have UI consistency. So app developers and OEMs are able to customize this sharesheet however way they want. For those who want uniformity for all their apps, there are third-party apps like Sharedr that is able to bypass the default sharesheet and have a more consistent and easier-to-navigate UI. It seems like they will be doing away with that though as Android 12 will block third-party apps from customizing the sharesheet.

According to XDA Developers, the upcoming Android 12 update will now block third-party apps from setting themselves as the default share sheet and bypassing the official one. We found this out after the developer of Sharedr opened a ticket in the AOSP bug tracker. They said that the system would open the Android Sharesheet by default and would no longer show the prompt to choose between the default and Sharedr.

Google afterwards confirmed that this was not a bug and that they never intended to allow apps to replace the share dialog. The intention was always to launch Android’s own sharesheet and it is the behavior that they will be pursuing. So basically, when Android 12 rolls out, Sharedr and similar apps will be blocked from doing what they’re supposed to be doing. “This is just not something that is feasible to allow apps to replace,” Google said.

There’s still a workaround to this for users but it will involve an extra step. You will have to choose Sharedr or whatever app you’re using for customized share sheets and then use it to choose your target app to share. So it’s not really a convenient way to use it as you can just directly share from the official share sheet. But if you’re used to using it for sharing purposes then that’s what you have to do once Android 12 rolls out and they’re affected.

What we don’t know right now is if this will also apply to OEMs who customize their share sheets and not just app developers. We’ll probably know once we hear from the likes of Samsung or when Android 12 officially rolls out to consumers and we just see the official Android Share Sheet.

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