Open Links With Your Favorite App
Have you ever tried to open a link and instead of opening your favorite application your device opens the web page?
Sometimes when I try to open a YouTube video, the system opens the chrome browser and not the YouTube app. Honestly, it is little irritating and the traditional way to do is either watch the video in the browser or search for the video in the application.
Open Link With app solves the issue and this application is provided by Said Tahsin Dane. The project is open source and the source code is available in the GitHub under the Apache License.
If you're stuck in the browser, share the web page with Open With and it shows the list of apps to open with. Choose your favorite application to open the web page Once or Always.
Great day Readers, To get more insights into the application and its development, I've contacted the developer Said Tahsin Dane. Here are the Q&A solely for our readers.
1. Tell us about you?
I am an Android Developer based in Istanbul. I've been developing for Android for a long time. I first started building my own ideas and had over 4 million downloads in total. That was a long time ago :) I am a co-organizer in GDG Istanbul community and last year I got Google Developers Expert title on Android.
2. What was your inspiration that lead to the creation of this app?
Android is actually designed in such a way that my app should not be necessary. But nothing is perfect. :) Let me explain the problem. When you click a link, if a native app installed is designed to handle that link, Android automatically shows you and lets you select the app. Sometimes it just does not work. I end up youtube video opened in Chrome and the experience is not good.
I was frustrated about this for a long time. I finally decided to build an app to solve my own problem. I was not thinking to release it in the first place. I built the app I needed for just a night. It did not have any UI at all in that version. I used it a lot. Shared with my friends and then decided to make it public.
3. What was the biggest challenge faced while developing the app?
While I was developing the app, I discovered that lots of things are changed in Marshmallow that affects my app a lot. I wrote a blog post about it.
The problem is that when an app is set to be the default, Android M's APIs hides the other apps not only from the user but also from developers. It was just returning me an empty list.
As a workaround, I just simply added all the browsers to the list in Android M devices.
For me, the main problem is that this behavior was completely undocumented. As always, I had to dive into the source code to understand what was going on.
4. What features can be expected in the upcoming updates?
People are asking about integrations. Since some companies/developers are lazy, they just cannot open links with their native apps. I've integrated Amazon and Ebay links manually. I don't want to do this for every app that has a problem. But I am thinking to collect the links that are failing a lot and give a priority to those.
And I have to find a way to be on top of the list when the user shares a link. :)
5. Is there anything else you want to tell our readers?
I would like to get feedback from the readers. Please try it and send your feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org. I am also available at @tasomaniac and +SaidTahsinDane,