Now this is why I love small developers! Yesterday, I sent off an email with some ideas I had to the developer of AutoRemote, which I featured in a post just yesterday. Eight hours later, an update to AutoRemote was available in Google Play, featuring one of those ideas.
Specifically, it’s the ability to extend Android’s Share feature to remote devices. The Share system is a universal system that many Android apps use to share information between one another, and when you click to share a link to a Google Play link using Gmail, that is the feature that allows you to do that. It’s similar to iOS’ “open in…” feature, and I’ve used it extensively for things like adding emails to a todo list.
With the latest version of AutoRemote, two new options will be available when you select Share in various apps: Remote Open Url, and Remote Share. Both of them transfers the Share activity over the air to a second Android device that has been set up using AutoRemote, and the difference is whether it shares a URL (like a direct URL to open an app in Google Play) or the entire content available from the source app (like a link to the app with the text “Check out X”).
Sharing is limited to text based content, like Google Play links, Google Reader shares, websites, or YouTube videos. In the case of YouTube, it’s as simple as clicking “Remote Open Url” from the YouTube share menu, and the video you were just watching on one device starts playing on the other. If multiple apps can open the incoming data, like multiple browsers having the ability to open web pages, it will ask you which app to use. That’s how the normal Share system does it, simply because this is the normal Share system, just extended from one device to another.
The fact that it takes Android’s existing Share feature and method of handling certain links (like YouTube links) is what makes this so brilliant, as it isn’t really adding anything new to Android – it’s just making what’s already there available on another device than the source. It also has the benefit of making AutoRemote usable as something besides a Tasker plugin, as this system works completely on its own.
Download: Google Play