Although Google’s I/O event is what is typically thought of as ‘Google day’, you can be pretty sure that tomorrow’s major unveiling event will be a Google day too. The company is preparing to unveil a number of hardware products like the heavily leaked new Nexus devices and few other goodies too. And just because there’s a big announcement tomorrow, it doesn’t mean the app updates have to take a break. Version 1.5 of the Google Messenger app has just been spotted today, bringing with it a cool treat for users having the Android M Developer Preview 3 installed on their Nexus devices. This update brings an implementation of the new Direct Share API in Android 6.0, allowing Messenger to add multiple contacts right to the share menu and saving us all a few taps when we want to send a link to our favorite friends.
What is the Direct Share API?
This preview provides you with APIs to make sharing intuitive and quick for users. You can now define direct share targets that launch a specific activity in your app. These direct share targets are exposed to users via the Share menu. This feature allows users to share content to targets, such as contacts, within other apps. For example, the direct share target might launch an activity in another social network app, which lets the user share content directly to a specific friend or community in that app.
To enable direct share targets you must define a class that extends the ChooserTargetService class. Declare your service in the manifest. Within that declaration, specify the BIND_CHOOSER_TARGET_SERVICE permission and an intent filter using the SERVICE_INTERFACE action.
Messenger allows you to have both single targets and group targets. Each time you share to a new person or group, they’re automatically added to the list. It seems like content type doesn’t matter, so if you’re sharing from a photo application, the same list of targets will pop up.
Google Messenger appears to be the first Google app to implement Direct Share, but we’ll surely be seeing this amazing feature being implemented in Google+, Gmail, Hangouts, and a whole lot more other apps in the coming months.
So for all you Nexus users running the Android M Developer Preview 3, you can go ahead and try out the new version of Google Messenger by clicking on the download link given below.