At the same time, Android’s share menu is its best and the worst feature. It is best because it easily allows one to share data from one app to another in just a few taps. But it is a usability disaster as it is extremely slow and takes time to populate the list of sharing intents available. And then there’s Direct Share which sounds good on paper but it is a complete disaster to use in real life.
Apart from taking its own sweet time in showing the contacts for Direct Share, the list ends up moving other items in share menu around which leads to a user erroneously pressing the wrong item in the share menu. As if this was not already enough, the sharing menu is also inconsistent in terms of its look. The share menu in the YouTube app is different from the sharing menu that you will see while in the Twitter app. Plus, as you install more apps, the sharing menu gets unnecessarily populated with intents that one will never use.
Thankfully, VP of Engineering at Android Dave Burke has confirmed that Google is aware of the usability issues with the share menu and that it is working on a redesign. Burke says the new share menu will come with a new underlying data model that will be “much faster and nicer to use.”
It's a priority, just a big job. We're working on a redesign with a different underlying data model (push vs pull) that will be much faster and nicer to use.
— Dave Burke (@davey_burke) November 9, 2018
At this point, it is difficult to say if this new share menu will be a part of Android Q or not. Given that the Android team still has more than a few months at hand to showcase Android Q to the public, there is a possibility of this new share menu making its debut with Android Q.
Here’s hoping that apart from being faster and nicer to use, Google also ensures that the new share menu in Android is more powerful and consistent in its behavior and UI across apps and devices.
Are you happy with the current share menu in Android? If not, what are your biggest gripes with it?