Android 12 will force apps through the official share menu

Android's official "sharesheet" will be the only direct way to share links, photos, etc.

Engadget/Steve Dent

You know how when you open a photo or link to share it and it doesn't always open the same share dialog? It turns out that's because Android allows app developers to customize the so-called "sharesheet," creating inconsistency from app to app. To have a more uniform experience, you can currently set third-party apps like Sharedr as the default sharesheet rather than the stock Android version. However, Google plans to stop that behavior in Android 12, according to XDA Developers.

Sharedr's developer filed a bug report after noticing that Android 12 no longer prompted users to select between Android Sharesheet and it's own app. Google said that was the intended behavior, so it was effectively blocking third-party apps from replacing its own share dialog.

"We had never actually intended to allow apps to replace the share dialog, that intent is for apps to launch the share dialog," Google told XDA Developers. "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 (Android) R, etc. This is just not something that is feasible to allow apps to replace."

Google hasn't said whether it would continue to let app developers customize Android Sharesheet, which is what created the inconsistent user experience to begin with. For instance, Samsung smartphones allow you to enable or disable direct contact sharing, as XDA Developers noted. You'll still be able to use apps like Sharedr, but you'll have to select them as an app from the stock sharesheet, creating an extra step.