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Android M To Introduce New Direct Share API Options

June 2, 2015 - Written By Justin Diaz

In a surprisingly long list of changes to the Android system with the coming new update, Android M has plenty for users to focus on and just one of the many things to highlight is the new share menu. Besides the share menu getting a refreshed look and adding slightly more room for icons while taking up less space than the currently available share menu within Android Lollipop, the share menu also seems to employ some new APIs for developers to incorporate a more intricate set of sharing options for users with their applications. Whether you share things often or not using your Android device, once Android M hits sharing seems to be getting a little more robust.

The new APIs could basically open up the possibility for developers to work in specific share options, for example, favorites, that lets users share images, videos, or whatever else it is they’re sharing with certain people instead of having to select the app you want to share with first and then scrolling to find the group or person you want to share it with more specifically. With the new share options users could seamlessly and quickly tap to select another specific user to share items with via the app they converse with those people through. So for example, if you always talk to your sister through hangouts and you have something you’d like to share, with Android M you’d be able to see a specific list of people to share with positioned above the app options, and you could see your sisters icon and the associated app through which you’d be communicating.

The new share option is called Direct Share which seems appropriate as it lets you share things directly with a single person or group as opposed to an app. It should make sharing much faster if you’re in a hurry to get something sent over like say, work related files, letting you go about your day knowing that what you needed to share is now out of the way. While this isn’t going to save people loads of time, the extra few seconds that Direct Share should be able to provide are still likely to be a welcomed addition to the operating system. As stated since these are a set of APIs within the sharing feature in Android, this won’t something that is available by default for all your apps which accept sharing files, rather developers will have to incorporate it into their app, and there’s no telling if this feature will make it into the final release.

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