Feature Friday: Android Sharing

My all-time favorite feature on Android is the way sharing works. I like this feature so much I am concerned that this might be a repeat of a prior Feature Friday post. But I searched on gawk.it and did not find any posts so maybe I haven't done a Feature Friday on this. Hard to believe.

When you are looking at content in Android, a web page, a blog post, a picture, a video, a venue in foursquare, a tweet, etc, etc, you simply hit the share button and all the apps that are installed on the phone that can take an object like that show up.

This is what the screen looks like on my phone when I share out an AVC post:

Android sharing

This is not the entire list of apps that are available to share the blog post with, this is just the first set of apps. You can scroll down to see more but I could not capture that with a screen shot.

This sharing feature is available to any app that is built for Android. Foursquare has implemented it for its venue pages with a "send to a friend" call to action. (this screen shot is from the USV venue page):

Foursquare share in android

This ability to share data between apps is super useful. I would like to see Google and Android developers do even more with this. Think about the way bookmarklets work on the web. If web bookmarklet functionality (like the Tumblr share bookmarklet for example) could be replicated on mobile devices, that would be a huge step forward for mobile.

In any case, this is probably the number one reason I use an Android phone and if you haven't experienced the joy that this feature provides, I suggest you get your hands on an Android phone and check it out.


Comments (Archived):

  1. awaldstein

    OK…I never thought it possible but I am now officially feeling ostracized for having an Apple product and being retro for only having an iPhone!

    1. Carl Rahn Griffith

      Ditto, Arnold!Very cool.At least my final iPhone contract is up in a few weeks time.Decisions, decisions… πŸ˜‰

    2. Abdallah Al-Hakim

      I am still planning on proceeding with my plan to replace android(HTC) with the new iphone and get Nexus7 as new tablet. This way, I feel that I have the best of both worlds.

      1. awaldstein

        Good plan.Maybe I’ll copy your strategy. Thanks for sharing.

      2. John Revay

        For $199 seems like an easy call on the nexusMy only issue is that it seems to be a better experience w having both devices be on the same platform / OS

      3. Owen

        The Nexus7 seems great, but without a rear facing camera I am thinking that Galaxy 7 instead.Does anyone have an opinion on whether or not the rear facing camera is a big deal?

        1. fredwilson

          i have never used the camera on our ipadsthe phone feels like the camera of choice

        2. Abdallah Al-Hakim

          I am rarely in a situation where I felt the need to take a picture with an iPad or any other tablet. The phone is much more natural choice for this. The front camera is much more useful because of running skype or any other VOIP service

      4. K_Berger

        I used to use an iPad and an Android phone. I found it to be a pain in the neck to deal with different platforms. Apps I was comfortable with on one device weren’t there or worked differently on the other. I’m all Android now.

        1. Abdallah Al-Hakim

          that is major kink in my plan but my feeling is that most of the heavily used apps should have similar look and feel across the different platforms. The main reason I am considering an iPhone is because they are usually the first to receive new apps.

    3. fredwilson

      mission accomplished πŸ™‚

    4. Matt A. Myers

      And I still think phones will get even more awesome.

    5. James Ferguson @kWIQly

      No Arnold – Nothing new here – Only awareness πŸ™‚

    6. John Revay

      “being retro for only having an iPhone”Great comment Arnold

      1. awaldstein

        Not retro ‘hip’ either.Not like having a vinyl collection. Moreso, being pressured to feel like a ‘fashion emergency’ πŸ˜‰

        1. panterosa,

          vinyl is so hot

          1. fredwilson

            i still have our (me and GG) entire vinyl collection. i have added to it occasionally over the years but it is heavily weighted toward 60s, 70s, and early 80s. it is in our beach house and we listen to a lot of vinyl out there. there is just something awesome about vinyl. getting up to flip the record brings joy every time.

          2. panterosa,

            I gave away my vinyl to a DJ friend (he worked with EBN, friends of mine). My mother has her vinyl though, from the 60’s and 70’s. Original Harry Belafonte, Brazilian, African, belly dancing, and the Red army marching band. She worked at the UN.I feel the same way about putting a record on at her place.

          3. JamesHRH

            My Mom stills has my Dad’s Time Life Swing era sets – pounds & pounds of vinyl!

          4. panterosa,

            I love swing. Took classes last year. WIll start again in fall.

          5. JamesHRH


          6. Kirsten Lambertsen


          7. Donna Brewington White

            It even SOUNDS more tactile — that scratchy sound, especially at the end of the song when the needle is just going round and round…something so satisfying about that, like the end of a good meal. You can feel the music in a different way.

          8. panterosa,

            Do you still have your singles? That’s the one thing I have still a small stack of.The two faves are Brothers Johnson Strawberry Letter 23, B side I’ll Be Good To You, and a clear blue vinyl Mr. Blue Sky from ELO. I remember buying them. I miss the ELO double LP Out of the Blue.

          9. Donna Brewington White

            Ha! Brothers Johnson. There is an indie song that I hear (and play) on Turntable.fm that borrows from BJ SL23. The first couple of times I heard it I said “Ah, Brothers Johnson Strawberry Letter 23” and NO ONE in the room knew who/what I was talking about. Then I realized that probably none of the people in the room were even BORN when that song was out!

          10. panterosa,

            What’s the song that borrows??You aren’t so old, and neither am I. Who say old to people who were surrounded with great music which rocked their souls like BJ back then?I saw them play at Tramps, a small club in NYC, in the 90’s, with Chaka Khan. A club which had a dance floor in front of the band. Now that was some serious grooving (I LOVE to dance), and was able to do so with them on stage BJ and CK, as my partners. Damn those were the days.PS this comment was written listening to I’ll be good to you and SL23!

          11. Donna Brewington White

            Chaka Khan!!! I still have one of her albums on vinyl — listened to it endlessly — and have her version of “I feel for you” on a 45.BTW, I was in the car with my husband when I received the Disqus notification of this comment and read it to him — he had never heard of BJ so I pulled them up on YouTube. He was mesmerized — sat in the car when we arrived home to finish listening to a song.Anyway, I came back to the thread because I found the name of the song that you asked about: Keep on Smiling by CSLSX. Not actually a remake per se but you will definitely hear SL23.Loved the story about you dancing in front of the stage. I have a feeling we could hang. πŸ˜‰

          12. fredwilson

            those are all great. i have singles but what i really love are my 7″ vinyl and my EPs

          13. William Mougayar

            Same here. I have about 600+ old albums and 2 adjustable speed turntables with an analog mixer, just for good old DJ mixing times.

          14. Simon J Woolf

            @awaldstein:disqus will attest that I have same. Only more records (about 5000 at the last count)

          15. Donna Brewington White

            There are some artists and genres (e.g. blues) that just seem better on vinyl. Like drinking from glass vs. plastic.Do you realize that we now have entire genres that have never been on vinyl?

          16. fredwilson

            electronic music for example

          17. Simon J Woolf

            not at all. Most electronic music has a long vinyl history (house, techno, dubstep, drum and bass in particular)

          18. LE

            When CD’s came out it was well known that vinyl sounded much better. CD’s had a tin sound. I haven’t compared that now is that still the case? Anyone know?

          19. LE

            No doubt you remember blasting the stereo when your parents weren’t home. And every now and then they would come home early and surprise you and kill your buzz. And you would make tapes of albums but the dolby cut down on the range and they just didn’t sound that good. But not as bad as 8track. And when CD’s came out they were encased in a plastic cartridge which got inserted into the player.I remember when stereos went from being sold in specialty stores to mass market. I remember when Marantz was a big deal and friends who built speakers to save money.

          20. panterosa,

            @LE Cassettes!!! and mix tapes!!!I still have mine and a cassette player. Some 30 years old. When a tape dies I keep the case and write the playlist.

          21. awaldstein

            Yes…I had an image recently of me in college (shoulder length hair) standing in front of a wall of orange crates filled with hundreds of albums.All gone. Feeling nostalgic for the sound they provided that touched and shaped my life then…and now.

          22. kenberger

            I recently inherited by uncle’s amazing record collection. It is jam packed with every 60’s and 70’s rock n roll collectable imaginable. He was the type to hang out in London in 1965 and score rare Stones and Beatles issues, etc.I have no idea what i’ll actually do with this collection. I’m all digital.

          23. fredwilson

            i have every rolling stones record in vinyl from england’s newest hitmakers to emotional rescue. at that point it stopped mattering anyway. i love to listen to the stones, particularly early 60s stones, on vinyl.

    7. panterosa,

      Arnold, I get ostracized multiple time per week by my BF who is Mr Droid, and apparently I’m a loser. But here’s the thing – I don’t really care (which bugs him, he wants to convert me). If my phone does everything I want for the period of time I want to be on it, then I’m happy. My phone doesn’t define me – it’s just a thing I use.I signed on to Apple in the 80’s when learning graphic design. A large portion of my work would not have been possible without Apple, and the now highly unfashionable QuarkXPress ( I wait to hear some youngun’s cackle here). I love Quark and the many macs I have had, for that skill I have developed as a result of them. Jobs was super into calligraphy, which I am too – I was taught by a guy who learned from a scribe in the Warsaw ghetto. I have set type by hand, and that kind of old school design training is great. Apple was in sync with me on loving fonts from day 1.So I am grateful for what Apple has brought me, and understand anyone who has loved their platform as I have, regardless of platform. And the idea of iSlavery which @kidmercury:disqus is mentioning above simply doesn’t describe me, nor I would sense it describes you.

      1. awaldstein

        Great comment.I’ve been an Apple user since their day 1.But…I also competed with them from day 1 and while not a big success or well known was involved in building the GEM operating system with DRI (?) to run on the Atari ST Computer (I was the PM and marketing person for Atari post Tramiel acquisition).I’m not ‘really’ feeling slighted but I have a personal and pro motivation to be in the know. Not ‘knowing’ android is starting to be a professional problem.I’m going to buy a tablet and get smart.

        1. panterosa,

          Fortunately my BF shows me every little new cool feature which comes out that geeks out over. Which for me professionally is an asset since I have to know how my apps would function on Android.Though as @FAKEGRIMLOCK noted a few weeks ago re games, iPad is really the place to be for game apps.

          1. awaldstein

            true….but mobile is the place for transaction and while the tablet is mobile of course, the phone is the new digital wallet cover.

          2. FAKE GRIMLOCK


      2. LE

        “Arnold, I get ostracized multiple time per week by my BF who is Mr Droid, and apparently I’m a loser.”You should put the kahbash on that behavior pronto!”If my phone does everything I want for the period of time I want to be on it, then I’m happy.”Ask him what problem it will solve for you.

        1. panterosa,

          @domainregistry:disqus Actually, it’s just his total excitement (he’s on the younger side) and enthusiasm for the cool s**t his droid does. I am like @kenberger:disqus ‘s wife in not needing so much from my phone beyond the already amazing stuff it does (without me getting distracted on even more features/apps/etc).

        2. FAKE GRIMLOCK


    8. William Mougayar

      Not so fast πŸ™‚ check my earlier comment.

      1. awaldstein

        A joke…of course.But, not a joke that to do what I do (consult, blog, build) i need to be hands on on both platforms.

        1. Dale Allyn

          Do you need more than wifi for one of them, Arnold? Having one as the main phone and one (or more) as a testing platform (wifi only) isn’t too bad if you’re not needing to specifically test carrier service response, etc. Since there’s usually no need to have the bleeding edge product for mobile web testing, it’s pretty cheap to have an Android device or two specifically for the purpose.If you rely on the 7″ Android as your only Android device, the feedback will be a bit different than the experience for many of your mobile users.

    9. Simon J Woolf

      And so you should Arnold! All us cool kids are on Android these days. Apple just won’t let us do *enough*

      1. awaldstein

        Can’t tell you how nice it is to see you here Simon.I’m betting a few of the avc’ers would be interested and aware of the work that you are doing with the Bristol Pound.

        1. Simon J Woolf

          That’s the beauty of disqus! Easily jumping between time and space and topic.The *brixton* pound is my main gig – although bristol will launch later this year and should be even bigger. Both use pretty cool open source technology (which is indeed I guess what might excite folks here)

          1. awaldstein

            @kidmercury:disqus may know of both of your projects.As an introduction to the community, Simon is a wine blogging and tech friend of mine from London. Amazing wine blogger. We traveled to Friuli together and will be making trips to Etna and Republic of Georgia this year for a dive into some deeply wacky and wonderful wine cultures.At the cutting edge of some interesting projects around alternative currencies in Europe.

          2. kidmercury

            thanks the disqus mention to bring this to my attention — i wasnt familiar with simon’s project but now that i am i have a few questions for him πŸ™‚

          3. kidmercury

            the brixton pound sounds fantastic. i’m very bullish on local currencies, i think it is one of the biggest opportunities out there. i’m in the very early stages of planning a local currency for a small neighborhood in chicago, USA.about the 10% discount — are the merchants who sign up to accept brixton pounds paying for that, so that it is sort of like a coupon? or where does the 10% bonus come from? and i’m assuming the value of the currency is pegged to the british pound?

          4. Simon J Woolf

            Yes, its (currently at least) pegged to sterling 1:1.The 10% bonus is only available if the BΒ£e (electronic Brixton pounds) stay within the system. If a business wants to redeem some or all of their balance back to sterling (which they are allowed to do), they must pay a 10% exchange tax. This ensures that the amount of sterling reserves held by BΒ£ CIC is always enough to cover our maximum exposure.

  2. Rohan

    Can’t go wrong with an Android ONLY post stoking iOS ego’s on Friday, Fred.Good on you. You’re really nailing this ‘get a reaction’ thing.

    1. JimHirshfield

      Arise Apple fanboys and fangirls?

    2. RichardF

      nothing like a bit of fanboi baiting on a Friday.

  3. RichardF

    I love this feature too. I use it a lot to share photos, my latest use has been to post instagram photos onto blogger.Although, my number reason for using an Android phone is that it’s not IOS πŸ˜‰

    1. Carl Rahn Griffith

      Lol.Apple is the new Microsoft!?Android is the new Apple!?;-)

      1. Carl Rahn Griffith

        Ergo, Microsoft is the new … er, erm …?

  4. Laurent Courtines

    I dont disagree with Fred on this. The sharing on Android is very good. My on gripe is how it handles the meta data of the post While I appreciate that may not be an android issue, it is somethimg to keep in mimd. Male sure ALLcontent has some sort of markup to ensure maxi,um sharability. Nothing more annoying that getting a giant url with all the tracking codes and no deacription into a shared post.

    1. fredwilson

      that’s an area where services and android can do better

  5. LIAD

    Highlights what an excellent job Twitter Biz Dev have done by being the only social sharing option built into iOS.Will have had 2(?) years exclusivity by the time FB goes live in iOS 6.More than enough time to have built a huge Moat. – related? – Twitter, the pulse of the Olympics. London Eye to be lit up depending on Twitter sentiment – http://www.wired.co.uk/news

    1. fredwilson

      i sure hope so

    2. gregorylent

      useless, can’t copy/paste from the ios twitter app



  6. Timothy Meade

    Yes, this is the most useful feature of Android and it appears the implementation has been improved massivly in later versions. But intents are the bare minimum as far as compatiblility, limited to to some common set of datatypes and each application is free to interpret how they want. Sharing to Google Docs (now Drive) makes sense if I’m sharing the doc, but what if I’m just uploading it? Files without applications don’t save to storage in the default browser and the broawser won’t “share” a file it can’t download. These failures make Android less useful as a desktop or laptop device than it should be and limit the usecases for Asus Transformers and similar devices.Apple may have been intent on removing the filesystem but an arbitrary location to store content is still neccessary if you want to get beyond the basic functions of a smartphone.

  7. Abdallah Al-Hakim

    I do like this feature a lot. I use it often to share a tweet with non-twitter friends and it is an easier solution that copy-paste into an email.

    1. gregorylent

      twitter app on ios, cannot even copy/paste

  8. JamesHRH


    1. fredwilson

      not sure what you are asking, but you can share photos to so many different apps on android

      1. JamesHRH

        yes – i tried to delete this as I saw Richard F’s comment.Disqus could use an Ooops ( or a Spike / Kill ) feature.

        1. fredwilson

          agreed. but then again oops like this could spur interesting threadswhat do you think of the knicks decision to let Lin go?

          1. JamesHRH

            Marketing guy in me is slack jawed – the share price dropped: http://www.grantland.com/bl…Another Grantland article mentioned that it was interesting that he ends up w Houston, who have first hand experience with the economics of a massive, Asia driven licensing success.Duh.Bill Simmons calls Rockets GM (Darryl Morey) ‘Dork Elvis’, because he looks like the King but is a total data/quant geek – goes to the conferences, etc….I am sure Dork Elvis is pitching D12 on how much traction the Rockets have in Asia……& what that can do for the D12 brand long term.Can only assume that Woodson is “All In” w Melo & that Amar’e days are numbered (either by his body or his owner’s inanity).Felton = ‘whatever’.As an SU alum (grad school), I watched Melo closely under Boeheim. He has not changed much since – he is nearly unstoppable when in rhythm, plays no D & shows little interest in leadership. The Knicks need to learn the Orange 2-3 zone!I feel for you: the Knicks are flailing. Anyone who doubts the importance of leadership, at the very top, just needs to look @ the Knicks under JimmyD.In CGY, the Flames have flailed since before my son was born (7 now). It seems completely unfair that our only Big League team sucks while he is in his sporting fan prime.Our ownership is pretty solid, but they have a tendency to back people for too long & are not sound on strategy changes (petro / commodity guys, surprise surprise).New GM (& more importantly a really sharp Assoc. GM (http://en.wikipedia.org/wik… ) out of the Bruins organization). New coach. Maybe.Hope is every fan’s weakness.

          2. falicon

            “Hope is every fan’s weakness.”Love it…I end every football season a frustrated Falcons fan…and yet, within a few weeks I’m right back drinking the kool-aid…and by this time of the year, I’m filled with nothing but hope and excitement for the upcoming season…I know I shouldn’t fall for it with any team/sport, and yet I have every year for the past 38 years across them all…

          3. pointsnfigures

            become a Cubs fan in Chicago….then you understand hope

          4. fredwilson

            i told you oops can generate interesting forks!

          5. JamesHRH

            Too funny.Where are you w Lin leavin & Knicks situation?Simmons features the Knicks & Dork Elvis prominently in his Free Agent summary piece on Grantland

          6. fredwilson

            I am not sold that Lin is a premier point guard

          7. JamesHRH

            I think that’s fair & I agree w you.But, he is v likely a premier sixth man ( Knicks version of Harden?) & almost assuredly an instant offense top 3 bench guy.Given that & the marketing upside, it wasPersonal or Political which is poor.

          8. JLM

            Felton + Kidd is a pretty good combination. The Knicks should be ready to roll.

          9. fredwilson

            i’m a bit worried about Kidd. i want the Jason Kidd of two years ago.

          10. JLM

            .Fair play to you.He can’t live forever. He has another good year or two left in him.He’s a great passer who can shoot the rock if necessary.Nash & Kidd are getting whipsawed by Mother Nature, that heartless chick..

          11. LE

            “what do you think of the knicks decision to let Lin go?”I don’t follow sports. Keeping that in mind …One thing didn’t make any sense to me at all. How all the sudden is this guy Lin so good that he is worth that much. Something’s not right.Added: I mean isn’t this a total outlier a guy who had his playing ability for years all the sudden turning into a star?

  9. Rich Ullman

    Just moved over to iOS yesterday. I’ll let you know if I miss it.

    1. fredwilson

      what was the impetus for the change?

      1. Rich Ullman

        Work related. We are developing a mobile app. First on iOs, then later on Android. I can’t wait, and I won’t juggle two devices. Most of the change was smoothed over by an Apple store employee who set up my 3 gmail accounts with me. So far so good.

  10. Matt A. Myers

    People need to feel safe letting go of control first; Not sure other supportive mechanisms exist in order for this to be as fluid as it should or needs to be.

  11. kidmercury

    oh you mean the iSlaves don’t have a share button on their toys? damn i didn’t even know (since i try to avoid slaveware). oh well. #androidpridenow would also be a good time to share a comic i found on the web. see attached.

    1. James Ferguson @kWIQly

      πŸ™‚ Brilliant – best viewed with … Votes Please – Chrome on Galaxy

      1. fredwilson


      2. JamesHRH

        They have me. I really don’t want to see cool Android features….

        1. David Semeria

          They had me several years ago when I was still quite naive…#SongQuote

          1. JamesHRH

            I’m not naive, just uninterested!

    2. William Mougayar

      Try that Seesmic Ping bookmarklet and let us know what you think.

    3. Tom Labus

      Woz says Jobs is at MSFT

      1. LE

        Woz was on a repeat of shark tank the other night. He was giving some guy (an asshole lawyer who was leveraging his IP to the distaste of Mark Cuban) “business advice”. Imagine that. Woz giving someone business advice.

    4. Brandon Marker

      timely post, I have decided to switch to Droid. I want to have as much freedom as possible. Which phones should I look at? Or if there is one that is just far superior, which?I have been contemplating for about 6 months. Its time.

      1. kidmercury

        whichever one speaks to your heart! i’m probably going to get a galaxy note when it comes to t-mobile in september, which is a big ass phone — 5.3″ screen — but others will certainly prefer a device with a different form factor.

        1. Brandon Marker

          thanks, I am liking the Galaxy S III, but will check out the note!

    5. Elia Freedman

      Why does any mention of Android or iPhone have to cause a flame war on this site. Why does anyone else give a damn what anyone else is using?

      1. kidmercury

        technology platforms govern our social relations and connect us — they are replacing governments. the same reason people get all upset about political discussions in the nation-state system is the same reason people get all riled up about platforms. the stronger apple’s platform becomes the more influence their platform and the governance model behind it will have on our whole world. put more simply, platforms are shared environments and bring the corresponding politics.

        1. Elia Freedman

          Political discussions are not the same. The decisions government make effect each one of us. My decision to purchase an iPhone has no impact on you personally.

          1. kidmercury

            it absolutely does. i have family members that get iphones so they can imessage with their friends who are iSlaves. there are developers that stopped using flash because of apple’s policies. this trend will only grow in significance as computing platforms takeover everything and as governments go into bankruptcy (three municipalities in CA have filed fro bankruptcy in the the past month)

          2. FAKE GRIMLOCK


          3. kidmercury

            in this particular comment i’m not debating the merits or lack thereof of dropping flash — rather i’m only indicating that what platform people choose is important in the same way that how one votes is of interest to others. if everyone “votes” apple, that means no flash and well have to play in that world (which may or may not be a better one). just like how if everyone votes obama/romney, even cool people like me who aren’t mindless prisoners of the two party system suffer. platforms are shared environments and thus have the corresponding political debates.

      2. ShanaC

        because we’re in that stage of os development. *sigh* things I am waiting to end.

      3. Dale Allyn

        Ha, I felt the same way, Elia. I enjoy reading how others use their devices, what they like, what they dislike, but at some point the convo starts to look like reverse bigotry or “anti-fashion”. They’re just tools, and they’re all good to learn about. Use what you like, what works for you, and if you’re building web products deliver a good experience on each.If not careful, it can devolve to resemble the Canon vs. Nikon rants, which all too often neglect to even look at the photographs produced by those who use either (or both). ;)(edited goofy sentence for clarity)

        1. LE

          “They’re just tools,”So true. Rarely do I buy a toy unless it does something for me. I got the first iphone and currently have the 3s but haven’t upgraded to the 4s yet. Even though I really like the better camera. I just don’t need it enough to take the time and go and fool with the Apple store [1] (which is located 5 minutes away eat your hearts out..) “it can devolve to resemble the Canon vs. Nikon rants”I do photography and use Canon. In small cameras and video I use Sony. Generally once you have your lenses you kinda need to stay with the same body obviously. So you are defending your original decision. But even w/o lenses (small sony’s) you get used to the brand and the menu layout etc. And if it works for you why change?Funny side story. I was evaluating buying a paint business a number of years ago. One of my concerns was how hard it would be to getting painters to switch brands. What I found out was that painters were just like printers which is what I suspected. They become superstitiously attached to whatever brand they are using because it works for them. (Same thing in sports, right? Superstition is big there..)Here’s the thing I noticed though. I’ve run into people are are like policy wonks on all the tech features of cameras (and computers). They read all those reviews and they obsess over the finer points of everything. It’s like art to them. I buy products because of what they can do for me. I practically never read reviews and many times people don’t even factor in what the feature means for them. (How many MP do you need and do you even know what white balance is?) Meanwhile they take sucky pictures because they have no artistic ability at all.[1] And that Apple store is always hopping. Always. Friday night after dinner and Monday morning as well. @kenberger:disqus you see even capable people (not imblicks) like to have to think sometimes.

          1. Dale Allyn

            LE, I do some photography too, hence being all too familiar with the brand wars. I’ve not updated my photo site in way too long, but here’s some of what I’ve dabbled in: http://daleallynphoto.com/I agree with your comments here. I have shot Canon for years as well, although I sold much of my kit to a friend a while ago (actually he has purchased gear from me in tranches). I have Mamiya/Phase One gear also (my main kit now), and will likely replace my Canon bodies again. I still have a few of my favorite lenses, but will replace some which I sold. I do like Canon’s menu systems and other elements, but Nikon is doing some good things too. I love the competition because it helps us.I’m slow to upgrade photo gear because the weakest link is rarely the equipment (once you have good glass, etc.). The MP race(s) is of little interest to me. I care about printed output (web display requires little in the way of cutting edge gear), so output determines when to and how to update gear for me.To clarify so that my comments aren’t misunderstood, I do like the discussions about Android and iOS here. I always learn something. And of course everyone is courteous. I just get a chuckle when the passions escalate. πŸ™‚

          2. LE

            Just thought of this clip which is appropriate. Kevin Spacey from American Beauty. Trying to get advice from the two gay guys who overestimate what he is trying to achieve with exercise which is “I want to look good naked.”http://www.youtube.com/watc…This in a sense is what Apple has been able to do. Make it easy for people to do what they want to do w/o making them think to much. That’s really the key to any successful product or service. There will always be a market for purists. And in the case of Microsoft also a market for people to help people with a geeky solution. (1981 IBM PC and DOS). I don’t think it was any accident that Microsoft failed to make things better for many years. There was an entire ecosystem that fed business to them and made them necessary. Same thing Microsoft faced and the threat felt by IT departments who were locked up by IBM.

          3. Dale Allyn


      4. LE

        People need to see themselves as special and identify with something. Then defend it. It’s like a ritual. Or the way people will “never miss a day of exercise” and if they are vegetarian well they won’t eat an oz. of meat and, and, this is important, think it’s bad for everyone and have to proselytize.”Why does anyone else give a damn what anyone else is using?”I think there is a sense of satisfaction out of hearing “you were right” like internal karma points.

        1. Elia Freedman

          I never did give a shit what others thought.



        1. Elia Freedman

          Truer words have never been spoken.

    6. ShanaC

      whenever you say islaves I think of this essay:http://www.critical-art.net…Worth the read, to think about slacker-luddites



      1. kidmercury

        and who decides those options? i don’t mind that it is someone besides me. i do mind that it is the people at apple, because i know they don’t care about me, even if i was one of their customers.

  12. William Mougayar

    iPhone owners rejoice…There is a quasi-similar functionality on the iPhone if you install the Seesmic Ping App. See my screenshot. You can share any page to a social network too and they will be adding more options.

  13. pointsnfigures

    funny how the comments on this post became a fight over platforms! Very interesting how you can share using mobile software. Lot of potential for a lot of interesting ways to market to customers.BTW, I’d love to hear people weigh in on Open Source software vs using Microsoft as it pertains to infrastructure but that’s for another day.

  14. matthughes

    Cool feature.I’m an iOS fan. But as they do in baseball, sometimes you just have to tip your cap.

    1. fredwilson

      or agitate to get your platform of choice to open up

      1. JamesHRH

        the phrase tilting at windmills comes to mind….

  15. Owen

    The way the sharing function works is like a bookmarklet, it just depends on how the developer set it up. Evernote has a “create note” share function that works exactly as a bookmarklet does. Tumblr’s kind of works like their bookmarklet, where you can decide to share something as a link, video, or photo.

    1. fredwilson

      yup. but the smarter the share function is, the more it is like a bookmarklet

      1. William Mougayar

        Exactly. That’s how Seesmic Ping implemented for the iPhone.

  16. falicon

    Great use of gawk.it (really fun to look at the set of posts and comments around them all as one bigger group)….not sure why everyone is talking about phones here though (and not comment search)…was this post about something else besides gawk.it? I must have missed the rest…will go back and read again… πŸ˜‰

    1. JamesHRH

      LOL. @wmoug:disqus school of commenting?Just poking fun…….

      1. falicon

        I’m only in my freshman year of the course…but I like think I’m a fast learner πŸ˜‰

      2. William Mougayar

        πŸ™‚ it’s called marketing…

    2. Kirsten Lambertsen

      Nicely done.

    3. Russell

      I stopped reading at gawk.it too. Gawk.it = awesome!

      1. Donna Brewington White

        “You had me at gawk.it”Toy and tool, all in one.

    4. ShanaC

      gawk.it helped me find an old date idea that someone had mentioned to me earlier

      1. falicon

        That is awesome!You know one of the comments I get a lot right now is “I have never wanted to search the comments of a blog”…to which I generally respond “that’s just because it was never an option before…once you try it, know you can, I think you’ll find it a lot more useful than you realize”…That’s the one downside to a system being truly new and unique…there’s an ‘education of the user’ phase that you’ve got to break through…so your comment makes my day knowing that at least some percentage out there are already ‘getting it’. Thanks! πŸ™‚

    5. fredwilson


    6. Kasi Viswanathan Agilandam

      No word of thanx to Fred? :-).Way to go @falicon:disqus gawk about it every single chance you get. There is a local say about marketing in my home state …it goes something like this.”in Cycle gap car pushed”.”If you give him the space for a cycle he pushes his car through it”….

      1. falicon

        That was rude of me…thanks for the mention Fred!And I especially like the cycle saying (my wife is really into cycling…she is currently traing for a 230 mile bike ride for charity in august…so anything cycle related hits the mark with us) πŸ™‚ Sent from my iPad

    7. Mark Essel

      :DMy gawk.it brand glasses filtered the rest of the post out.

  17. matthughes

    Side note: is it just me or does the new @disqus Star feature not get used as much as the old thumb’s up/like feature?

    1. JamesHRH

      what star feature? that’s my answer….

      1. Kirsten Lambertsen

        It’s sitting at the top of the comments section. You can give the post, itself, a star.

  18. John Rorick

    I have been on ios past 8 months after Android for a couple of years. While ios does all of my general needs solidly I miss the share and will forever miss google nav and how concisely things like the voice search worked. Apple prides itself on the “it just works” mantra, but some very simple and efficient things like voice search and being able to pull out some basic setting buttons like turning wifi/bluetooth off/on in one step instead of two are lacking. I will always marvel at the reaction Apple (of which I am still a huge fan) gets for essentially catching up on features that have long been integrated into android. Like the FB share; Like their supposed new apple maps program, one small screen size option, 3G only….etc. Catching up is not ingenious. In the general smartphone market (“normals) if Android can turn the corner on the sentiment that it is a buggy disaster, which comes with product improvements but in some cases just getting users to the platform, then this smartphone platform race could get really interesting.I am also REALLY sick of freakin’ widgets. Ugh.

    1. ShanaC

      why do you dislike widgets?

      1. John Rorick

        That is my reference to the rounded square box that ios keeps me in. It is stifling to me…my droid allowed me to stretch , move, position all things that made my interface intuitive for me. Like my calendar or email app. ios insists that we all must stay within the confines of what they deem intuitive.

  19. Sebastian Wain

    Yes. This feature is a daily need. Sharing to the Readability application and e-mail are.on the top of. my list.But I am waiting for a more integrated approach in browsers like add-ons.

  20. Scott Barnett

    hear, hear! I love this feature, and actually feel a bit diminished on my laptop, I’d like that same functionality.

  21. ErikSchwartz

    Don’t worry. Apple will close this feature like they did notifications and then two years later they will sue google claiming to have “invented” it .

    1. fredwilson


  22. kenberger

    As a mobile developer (or at least someone who has a dev team), I find Android development much more fun than iOS. You can write some pretty simple code that extends this share functionality even further.An example is Everpaper. Now Instapaper is finally available (for purchase) on Android, so when you want to save a webpage encountered on your phone to read later, this option comes up in the share dialog. For the last few years, the free Everpaper served this purpose.Since Android still often (and sadly) gets developed for only later on, this sort of thing is handy to bridge the gap.

  23. Aaron Klein

    Indeed, this is one of the best features of Android.Another thing that strikes me is how utterly beautiful that UI is. It took Android some time, but it finally has the polish and elegance of a great product.I was stuck back on Gingerbread for so long, getting no updates and my underpowered Droid Pro was driving me crazy, so I parachuted into a used iPhone 4.I will never go to Android on an OEM’s phone again, but I’m waiting to see what the next Nexus looks like this fall, and I expect I might be an Android user again.

    1. Abdallah Al-Hakim

      I am going through the same pain with my android (HTC). If I do consider a future android phone then I am definitely sticking to the Nexus brand.

      1. ShanaC

        does the nexus thing point out that apple may be right about control?

        1. Abdallah Al-Hakim

          that is a big topic but it is clear to me that the big players out there (Amazon, Google, Apple, Microsoft) are working on getting users integrated in their systems. This is one reason why Microsoft has decided to build the surface themselves. In regards to Android, some users value the choice of different handsets more than having the lastest operating system. I prefer the latter option and this is why I will go with a google nexus phone if that ends up being my decision. You might be interested in a recent blog post by Chris Dixon where he discussed the integration model http://cdixon.org/2012/06/2

    2. fredwilson

      the samsung nexus with jellybean and chrome is just awesome. polishedddddddddddd

      1. Aaron Klein

        Can’t wait to try it.Aaron KleinCEO at Riskalyze β€’ Sierra College Trusteehttp://about.me/aaronklein”Riskalyze has made investing personal and easy.” –PandoDaily on Riskalyze.com (http://www.riskalyze.com)

      2. RichardF

        “the samsung nexus with jellybean and chrome”…somehow I think the marketeers are going to have to work on how to rephrase that so that phone shop sales people can communicate it to “normals”

  24. Ryan Frew

    The irony is killer. Here we are discussing how easy it is to share something on Android, and yet, you have to have a rooted phone just to take a screenshot…something that is pretty much only used for sharing.

    1. William Mougayar

      -1 for Android. Is anyone keeping score re: Android vs. iPhone? The volleys are flying πŸ™‚

    2. ShanaC

      My phone isn’t rooted and I can take screenshots. Normal with the newer os version.

      1. Ryan Frew

        What? Ice Cream Sandwich for the win! I have a Moto Bionic and I like it a lot but that has been a long-term shortcoming. How do you do it?

    3. fredwilson

      my phone is not rooted



        1. kidmercury

          maybe we should extend this concept by banning all forms of diversity. that way discussions will be easy.

  25. kenberger

    My wife once told me: “But that’s the beauty of iPhone. Decisions are made for me. Things are simple. I’m protected. Everything’s provided for all users. Android allows too much freedom– people can hurt themselves!”I countered: “Your family left the old country and came to America under which line of thinking?”

    1. ShanaC

      I need to borrow that line.

    2. Phil Swenson

      I think it’s more like the iPhone is an appliance. Android is a PC.

    3. fredwilson




      1. andyidsinga

        command line’ish interfaces are coming back – see ubuntu hud https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Uni… they’re so efficient.been wondering what the touch equivalent will be in terms of efficiency (swipe comes close – but thats a keyboard thingy) .. but now I realize this will be gesture based – think: gesture device attached to each hand ..so you can air keyboard / air touch it all the way baby.

        1. FAKE GRIMLOCK


          1. andyidsinga

            hehe – normal humans didn’t used to use macs πŸ™‚ – buts ubuntu isn’t the point – whoever rips that off (achem apple) will be all “HUDs are awesome”.re singularities and Kurzweil – blarg – he just read Greg Bear’s EON trilogy and added some dates πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

    5. scottythebody

      Cripes. It’s just a phone. But I appreciate the sentiment, because this type of debate, as well as the enormous potential in this market are going to keep things very interesting for a very long time. Google spying on everything you do is no worse or better than Apple controlling your choices of capabilities. You’re serving a corporate master on either platform. And far more important than your choice of platform is your choice of apps and how you use the phone — a huge number of apps on both platforms are stealing your information, spying on you, or, even worse.Nobody is pure in this game. Apple ruthlessly drove Flash off of mobile platforms because it was inadequate in every way. Nobody knows exactly why, but it was a combination of competitive spite and wanting to improve the mobile experience for Apple customers. The net win is that Flash is gone: it was a horrible, bloated, proprietary platform with tracking capabilities that 99.9% of users have no idea exist and were used by advertisers and less upright groups to exploit your privacy.I like the world with both platforms thriving. If it weren’t for Apple, phones would still suck. If it weren’t for Android, phones would still suck. Even Microsoft is pushing everything forward in this game, even if they do so, in essence, for no profit so far.But the security ramifications on all mobile phones are huge and very little understood by the masses (or even security experts at this point). The opportunity for business is huge, and so is the chance of calamity.

      1. kenberger

        Great points; agreed on all.I’m only talking about offerings on the front end (hardware). I agree that inside and behind them, all 3 platform companies and their app ecosystems are vastly untamed, even insidious or spiteful as you say.

      2. Amin

        “Google spying on everything you do is no worse or better than Apple controlling your choices of capabilities.”For me, it’s better. I much prefer being spied on to having my choices of capabilities controlled.

        1. fredwilson

          me too amin

  26. Kevin Galligan

    Have always loved it. Super simple. You can also make your app a share target and it shows right up everywhere that share does. The down side of sharing. 1) You don’t get confirmation of a share. One client wanted to give the user something for sharing, but only if they actually shared. 2) Some clients “hijack” the user. The twitter client being the most visible offender. You don’t return to your app. You stay in twitter after the share, or at least it was that way for a while. GARBAGE. Still, though, on the balance, fantastic.

  27. ShanaC

    My one hangup about android – I want to share a location where I am for when I am walking somewhere. When I need to meet someone. Otherwise foursquare/yelp does it

  28. Kfir

    Google+ and Gmail at the top and Facebook missing the Android eco system is so funny sometimes.

  29. Elia Freedman

    This is an amazingly good feature, one of the best things about Android. As a developer I wish iPhone had this feature, too. There is something new coming in iOS6 that starts to get at this idea but it is restricted to just a few Apple-approved services.

    1. William Mougayar

      Have you tried Seesmic’s Ping bookmarklet for the iPhone?

      1. Elia Freedman

        Have not. That looks like for social networks, yes? I would love to see app to app as well outside of the social realm.

    2. fredwilson


  30. Britt O'Halloran

    Open app sharing, and homescreen widgets. Two MAJOR wins for Android over iOS

    1. kfir

      I guess not a lot of people on this board are developers… iOS 6 adds sharing.Here is a screen shot if you need one.

      1. Art Arbitrage

        FWIW, I just spent 3 days doing a feature-by-feature comparison of JellyBean on a Nexus 7 vs iOS 6 Beta on iPad. The sharing features are virtually equivalent. Implemented differently, but pretty much the same in terms of outcome, at least in my testing. Also, many iOS apps have had “sharing” features for quite awhile. Overall, I think the feature war is over and it is on to services. Play is much improved but iTunes is better integrated (far from perfect tho).

  31. Lev Berlin

    I enjoy this too, but unfortunately there is no built-in url shortening. I actually wanted to share something to twitter via this method, but it offered the full url and instead of going elsewhere to shorten it, I ended up not sharing. So, lack of url shortening is my only gripe. Unless(!), of course, there is an easy way to do this that I’m missing.

  32. Cima

    I didn’t know about this feature. Thanks for sharing. I’m reading this post through Google Currents. Really nice interface, easy to navigate; led me back here to the original post so I can comment. Learning more about Android has been really great.

  33. Julien

    Actually, these android intents are one of the brilliant things in android’s User experience. Luckily, they’re coming to the web, in the form of WebIntents.

  34. Techman

    I agree. Android is such a great system for sharing things.

  35. Sriram Krishnan

    On a tangential note, Windows 8 is baking this into the OS (MSFT calls them ‘charms’).

  36. Mark Essel

    Web Intents may be something you’re interested in, it’s an effort to normalize actions across apis (kinda like activity streams) http://webintents.org/

  37. fredwilson

    yeah but that’s bad. it just allows twitter, facebook, tumblr, etc to remain dominant.i’m interested in permissionless innovation and allowing the little guy to have a level playing field

  38. kenberger

    …obvious if you want to follow the crowd and status quo, and be stuck with limited control (that you and many others may understandably feel is a blessing).These days, innovation runs way too fast for me to be stuck with the judgment calls of a powerful company and their dances with the strongest startup bizdev machines.Your report very much reflects the majority view today. I remain in a very opposite camp. It’s a lonely place being an Android fanboy!

  39. JamesHRH

    Ken – I just don;t want to put the mindshare to it. I said lazy above, but what I really meant was: it works and I do the least amount possible. Yay.

  40. scottythebody

    It would be great to see Apple introduce the ability for the end user to add “share sheets” to any app that had the capability in it. That doesn’t seem too far fetched or too far off. The share and inter-app communication APIs are getting richer as time goes on, and I think the feature is so damned compelling that they can’t leave it 2nd rate forever.