A better solution to Android's open with selection with a few drawbacks
None, app is free of charge
Android isn’t perfect. The AOSP (Android Open Source Project) works quite well out of the box, but there are few things still in a desperate need for an improvement. One of those things is the open with dialog. It’s broken and it has been since the first iteration of Android. Third party apps are trying to fix these things, and one of them is Better Open With.
If you have several apps installed that can open the same thing, say links for example, and you tap on a link in another app you’ll be presented with open with menu. It’s definitely an advantage of Android compared to iOS, where you can’t choose the default apps.
Now even though Android has it, it doesn’t work as intended. At least all the time. This is the Android open with menu I’m talking about here:
Now this would be completely fine if not for two things.
Firstly, it doesn’t remember the “Always” option all the time. I’m not sure why, but I get this dialog box quite often despite choosing always.
Secondly if it works, resetting the default app takes some time. You have to open the settings, go to applications, select the app you set as default, scroll to the bottom and tap on clear defaults.
Better Open With is an app trying to fix these issues. Upon launching it, you’ll get a set of most common file types that you want to set defaults for.
I have to admit, the user interface is a bit ugly. Standard file types are included within this app, like audio, images, video, pdf and browser. Now if there is some other type of files, like text, this app won’t work unfortunately.
Once you tap on a certain file type, you’ll see a list of your installed apps that can open that type of files.
These three apps can open images on my phone. Every time I try to open an image, I get a dialog box asking me which app i want to use. Tap on the star on the right to set app as a default.
It won’t be launched immediately, at least not yet.
On the bottom of this screen you can choose whether to launch the selected app immediately, or after a certain time frame (up to two minutes, not sure why). Selecting countdown timer will still let you choose other apps, but you want have to tap anything if you want your default app. Pretty neat.
The settings are pretty feature-rich as well. You can change the default countdown timer, hide text below icons and change the text size. Rest of the settings are related to layout, where you can increase number of columns in grid, or use list instead of grid.
And if you’re not a fan of dark theme, you can easily change it to its light variant.
Now, to the actual content.
Once you tap on a certain file type, you’ll be a bit disappointing. You won’t get to the Better Open With screen, instead you will see the default app selection screen.
From here, you’ll have to tap on Better Open With and then on always. From there, you’ll get the Better Open With selection screen.
Now you can wait two seconds to get the link opened with Chrome Beta, or tap on another app to launch it using that app. No more Just once or Always. Also you can quickly open the settings from here.
This app would be a must if the developer could fix the two issues mentioned earlier. Firstly it works only for preset file types, and secondly you have to pass the default app selection screen first to get to Better Open With, at least once.
The review is based on our own experience and devices. Your experience might be different depending upon device you are using and your expectations.
Keep in mind that when calculating the average, ratings don't have the same weight. Performance and design is valued more than regular updates for example.
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- Works fine once you set it up
- Lots of layout options
- Totally free of charge
- Limited file types
- Need to go through default open with selection when using it for the first time for every file type