The Android share sheet is slow and clunky, with Google promising a “much faster” redesign in a future version of the OS. In the meantime, Google Maps and News have adopted a faster sharing menu design that is now being tested by Google Photos.
As first introduced with Google News at I/O 2018, the grid of icons for contacts and apps are replaced by two carousels. This reduces the height of the share sheet, but most importantly helps obviate the lag associated with waiting for contacts and app sharing to load. As such, users are less likely to accidentally tap a sharing target as the direct share contacts finish loading.
This share sheet redesign is being tested in Google Photos for Android. At the very top is a search field to manually enter a name, phone number, or email address. Below is the carousel of contacts, including ones from Photos, with a “More” item at the very right opening a full screen menu.
At the bottom are sharing targets from installed apps, though the first two are reserved for “Create link” and “Shared album,” just like before. Minor design differences exist between the three apps that currently have this new share sheet, but the general premise is identical.
The Photos sharing menu is now shorter, thus allowing the images previewed above to be larger. However, pictures in landscape are unfortunately cropped into a square. Other aspect rations, like portraits and screenshots, are shown in full, and benefit from the larger screen real estate.
So far, we’ve only found this Photos sharing menu redesign live on one device, a Pixel 3. A Pixel 2 XL and other Android phones we’ve checked do not have this A/B test. In Google Maps, the new share sheet began appearing last month and is now widely rolled out on Android.