Jack Wallen introduces you to a new way of sharing from the Android platform that can make your life a bit more efficient.
With the Android platform, you already have the built-in capability to share items to various destinations (email, Gmail, Facebook, Google Drive, Evernote, etc). There are, however, a few limitations of the built-in system. Fortunately, I came across a handy little app called Andmade Share that provides more sharing options. With Andmade Share, you can:
- Re-order the share list
- Share to multiple sources at once
- Hide unused elements from the share list
- Fast share to Evernote
- Set the default "from" email address
The Andmade Share app is pretty great, but it's not perfect. According to the developers, you should be able to set Andmade Share as the default share tool (which would then replace the system share menu) -- but this isn't always the case. Some apps (such as Gallery and Chrome) make use of their own share menu. It isn't until you attempt to share an item with an app that uses the built-in share system that you're finally prompted to set a default.
In the case of apps that use their own share menu, you have to select Andmade Share from the share menu, and then select how you want to share the item. It's an extra tap, but in many instances, it's worth it.
Let's install and use Andmade Share.
There are two versions of Andmade Share: free and Pro. The Pro version will set you back $2.00 (USD) and allows you to group apps together to use as multi-share with a single tap. The Pro version also adds Fast Share to email, Twitter, and Facebook (more on Fast Share in a moment). Personally, I'd stick with the free version until the Pro version has a few bugs smoothed out (force closing on Fast Shares). From my experience, the free version works smoothly.
To install Andmade Share, follow these easy steps:
- Open the Google Play Store
- Search for Andmade Share
- Locate and tap the entry by Andmade Software
- Tap Install
- Read the permissions listing
- If you agree with the permissions, tap Accept
- Allow the installation to complete
Once it's installed, you'll have to find an app that uses the built-in share menu -- like the Google Play Store -- to set Andmade as the default. Open up that app, locate an app to share, tap the Share button, then (when prompted) tap Andmade Share, and tap the Always button (Figure A).
Andmade Share running on a Verizon-branded HTC M8.
You have now set Andmade Share as the default. Of course, most of the apps you share with laugh at the built-in share menu, so be prepared for an extra tap in the way of sharing.
Now, let's use this baby.
The process of sharing with Andmade Share starts out like any other share:
- Open the URL or file to be shared
- Tap the Share button
At this point, things change a bit. From the Share list, select Andmade Share. This will open up yet another share list (Figure B).
The Andmade Share share list.
All you have to do now is select the app(s) you wish to use for sharing. If you do multi-share, you'll find one more caveat associated with Andmade Share. Say, for example, you want to share to both Google Drive and Gmail (Figure C).
Sharing to multiple sources with Andmade Share.
When you share to Gmail, you must fill out a recipient address. That still has to be done. So, when selecting multi-share, you'll have to fill out details for each share (if necessary). However, it saves you from having to share to one source and then go back and share to another source.
One of the best features of Andmade Share is the ability to hide apps from the share menu and rearrange the items (to place your most frequent sharing apps on the top). First, let's hide applications from the share menu. To do this, follow these steps:
- Open the app drawer
- Locate and tap the icon for Andmade Share
- Tap Hidden apps
- Tap to check all apps you want to hide (Figure D)
- When you're finished, tap the home button
Hiding apps from the Andmade Share menu.
When you now share with Andmade, only the apps you've allowed to be seen will be available. To reverse this, go back into the Hidden apps window and uncheck the ones you want available.
To reorder the apps in the Andmade Share share menu, simply long-press an entry and move it up or down, as shown in the following video:
If you're looking for a faster way to share a single item to multiple sources, or a way to limit what you see in the Share menu, give Andmade Share a try. It's not perfect, but it does have a few options that can make sharing more efficient for power users who are on the go.
Are you content with the built-in sharing functionality of Android and its apps, or does Andmade Share have the additional options you've been searching for? Let us know your thoughts in the discussion thread below.