Android 12’s new recents URL sharing feature makes it easy to copy links
Google recently rolled out Android 12 beta 3 with a host of changes and improvements over the previous beta release. While Google mentioned all the significant user-facing changes included in the third beta release in its blog post, the company didn’t mention one rather useful feature in its announcement — recents URL sharing. In this post, we’ll take a quick look at this feature and briefly explain how it works.
Android 12’s new recently URL sharing feature lets you quickly copy links from the recent apps overview. Back when Beta 3 first rolled out, we didn’t know how it worked since Google didn’t officially announce the feature. But the company has now shared developer documentation, which sheds some light on this cool new feature.
According to the documentation, the recent URL sharing feature can be enabled by any app that provides a web UI and overrides the onProvideAssistContent method of the Activity class. This method is used to provide the Assistant app with structured information about the current foreground content. Essentially, apps can tell the Assistant that the current foreground content is loaded from a specific web page. And in Android 12, that URL is extracted and shown to the user, allowing them to copy it from the recent apps overview easily.
As you can see in the attached screenshots, the URL appears as an icon in the top right corner of the app card in the recent apps overview. You can tap on it to see the full URL and then copy or share it right from the recent apps overview. Tapping on the button also brings up contact suggestions at the bottom to help you share the URL from the same screen.
Currently, if you wish to copy a link from Google Chrome and share it with a friend, you have to tap on the address bar, then tap on the Copy button, switch over to the messaging app of your choice, and then paste the URL there before hitting send. Alternatively, you can tap on the address bar, then tap on the Share button, select the app you wish to share the link on from the share sheet, and then select the contact you want to share it with. In both cases, it’s quite a lengthy process.
The recent URL sharing feature aims to simplify that to a great extent by letting you swipe up to open the recent apps overview and then copy or share the link right from the same screen.