When opening a specific type of link, Android prompts you to choose between several apps. It’s the mobile equivalent of the desktop “Open With…“.
For example, when tapping on a Airbnb link, this modal appears:
The key part of this modal is the bottom part, where 2 options appear:
- Always: subsequent taps on similar types of links will always open the selected app. The modal won’t appear again.
- Just once: the link will only open in the selected app this time. The modal will reappear next time a similar link is opened.
The problem with this approach is that any action requires 2 taps: selecting which app to use and how subsequent taps will behave.
As a result, choosing the permanent behavior is as easy as choosing a one-time behavior. If a user chose “Always” by mistake, he’d have to dig deep into the phone settings to undo his error, which will also clear the app’s behavior regarding other types of links.
A less error-prone approach
To simplify the opening of a link and to prevent any permanent decision, the modal should look like this:
How it works:
- No app is selected by default.
- Tapping on an app will open the link in that app.
- Choosing that app as the permanent choice requires 2 taps.
The one-time action is quicker as it requires only a single tap.
Although defining the permanent action requires to tap at the bottom and then in the list, opting for a less straightforward approach is deliberate, as it prevents easy mistakes.
If a user wishes to choose an app as the default one, he’d have to actively decide to do so.