A useful feature of Android is its ability to share content to any app and open links with any supported app. Now, in Android 12, Google is making that process a bit smoother by adding “verified links” that open directly in their designated apps instead of showing a chooser dialog.
Detailed in Google’s blog post and live in Android 12 DP3, “verified links” are the URLs that the app specifically says should be opened in the app. In past versions of Android, these are the links that would allow an app to show up in the “open with” dialog. Now, those links will open directly in the app without asking you.
In Android 12 we’re making some changes to help users get to their content faster and more seamlessly. First, we’ve changed the default handling of links that aren’t verified through Android App Links or manually approved for links by the user. Now the OS will directly open them in the default browser, rather than showing a chooser dialog. To make it easier for users to approve your app for links, we’ve added a new Intent that takes them to “Open by default” in Settings. If you want to ensure that only your app can handle links from your domain, you can use App Links. We’ve added new
adbcommands to help you configure and test your links.
In practice, there are only two changes you’ll see. First, links will open directly in their associated app from the start instead of showing the “open with” dialog. The only time you’ll see that dialog is if a link can be opened in an app on your device but isn’t a part of the “verified links” list, something that’ll be relatively rare. Second, you’ll need to dive into an app’s settings to disable automatic opening if you need to do that.
This could have a big impact on some workflows, but on the whole should result in a streamlined overall experience. We’ll have to wait and see how it performs once Android 12 fully rolls out.
We’re still digging into Android 12’s latest preview, so stay tuned for more, and catch up with all of our coverage here. Feel free to drop a comment below or ping me on Twitter if you see something new!
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