Sharing links to quality content is one of the core experiences of the internet as we know it today. Google is looking to streamline that process with a new share sheet in Chrome for Android that also brings new ways to share the web.
In every version of Android prior to Android 10, the share menu has been a slow, messy affair that leaves many frustrated. Following the pattern of other Google apps like Google News and YouTube, Android Police has found that Chrome for Android is introducing a custom share sheet to appear before the traditional Android share menu.
Like nearly every other work-in-progress Chrome feature, the new share menu is currently hidden behind a flag in chrome://flags. You’ll also need to be on a pre-release version of Chrome such as Chrome Dev or Chrome Canary to enable the flag.
Chrome Sharing Hub
Enables the Chrome Sharing Hub/custom share sheet.
Once the flag is enabled and you’ve restarted Chrome twice, you’ll be greeted with a custom Material Design sheet when tapping any share button, displaying two rows of sharing options. Along the bottom, you’ll see a horizontally scrolling list of traditional sharing options along with a “More” button to pull up the full native Android share sheet.
Sitting just above that row is another, shorter row of new Chrome-specific sharing options. “Copy link” and “Share to your devices” do exactly what they’ve always done on Chrome for Android. Meanwhile, there are two new options being added to the mix.
The first, “QR Code,” brings you to a new page where you can quickly share the current page’s URL from your phone screen as a QR code, or download an image of the QR code — though neither of these features work just yet. At the top of this page is a “scan” option that allows you to quickly scan any QR code and immediately navigate to the shared page.
Given how easy it would be for someone to share unwanted links via QR codes, I hope Google lets you preview the link you just scanned before opening it in a new tab.
The second sharing option, “Screenshot” only appears when you have another related flag enabled.
Chrome Share Screenshots
Enables UI to edit and share screenshots
Judging from the flag’s description, Chrome is picking up a handy screenshot UI similar to the screenshot editor built into the Google app. For now, though, even with the flag enabled, Chrome for Android’s Screenshot share option does nothing.
Chrome Canary is currently on version 81, but the new share sheet is definitely still a work-in-progress. That being the case, we may not see the new share sheet launch properly until Chrome 82, if at all.
What do you think of Google apps using their own custom sharing UI? Let us know in the comments.
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