Android 12 will bring the end of third-party share menus

Android 12 Logo
Android 12 Logo (Image credit: Alex Dobie / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Third-party apps will not be allowed to replace the Android share menu in Android 12.
  • You will no longer be able to set apps like Sharedr as the default.
  • Google says it never intended to allow third-party apps to replace the official Sharesheet.

One of Android 12's biggest highlights is the new Material You design language, which brings major changes to nearly every key UI component. Android 12 will also introduce a major change to the way users share links and photos, according to a report from XDA Developers.

On Android 11, Google allows third-party apps and OEMs to fully customize the Android Sharesheet, which is the reason why the share dialog differs from one app to another. It is even possible to completely bypass the official Android Sharesheet by setting an app like Sharedr as the default Sharesheet. In addition to providing a more consistent experience, Sharedr also gets rid of Direct Share to help you access the Sharesheet more quickly on the best cheap Android phones.

Sharedr Share Menu

Source: Google Play Store (Image credit: Source: Google Play Store)

The developer of Sharedr recently filed a report on the AOSP bug tracker website after finding that Android 12 no longer shows a prompt to choose between Sharedr and the system share menu. Responding to the issue, Google's product and engineering team told the developer:

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, etc. This is just not something that is feasible to allow apps to replace.

This means users will not be able to set Sharedr or any similar app as the default Sharesheet after updating to Android 12. Sharedr's listing (opens in new tab) on the Google Play Store has also been updated to warn users that it will stop working on Android 12.

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Babu Mohan
News Writer
6 Comments
  • I'm not affected by this as I never use third party share apps. But I'm expecting the pro customisation squad like DJBCS to spit feathers at Google.
  • This change will also hit apps that use their own Share view (Twitter and Chrome to name two).
  • I don't think it will. As long as an app doesn't call the share sheet (via startActivity(shareIntent)) but uses internal methods to show its own version, there's nothing Android system can do to prevent an app from having its own share sheet implementation. The only thing Android could do is not return any results when an app queries the system for apps that can handle a share intent. Not sure they want to go there, though, because that's also how an app would check if it can open another app directly with some content?
  • Requested to have a "sharing content" role, so that you could have a proper app to replace it: https://issuetracker.google.com/issues/178122249 Please consider starring.
  • This absolutely stinks! Samsung has by far the most superior share menu, especially now that it's completely customizable! Bad form Google!
  • I prefer Google's share menu as it's easier to use than Samsung's but it's nice to have options to customise it if those that that are obsessed with changing the entire look and feel of their phones. So for me this is good form Google.