I've been testing the android app out for quite a while now, and I am finding that I don't really like it that much. The work towards an android app is appreciated, but it either does not suit me or has flaws. I'm going to try to write up why in a different question.

My question, though, concerns the user's ability to not use the android app while leaving it installed. Every time I click a link from within mobile, it asks me what I would like to open it with. Even if I select "always Chrome," the app doesn't seem to respect this - asking me once again what I would like to open it in. It's probably adding an exception for every full link, including question ID.

Edit: Because people seem to doubt my veracity in testing such a small issue: Yes, I am prompted for every link I click regardless of time and updates. (Samsung Galaxy S4, V4.3)

Is there a way to change this? I'd like to leave the android app installed, but I don't want to use it on a daily basis. Thanks!

  • For me setting the default held, not sure whats gone wrong there Jan 16, 2014 at 15:25
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    Same thing here, but I think this is an Android thing rather than a SE thing. Jan 16, 2014 at 15:28
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    I haven't experienced this exact issue since I'm not in on the Alpha test, but this feels like an Android issue, as the OS should be the one deciding which application to handle the request. Jan 16, 2014 at 15:33
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    I remember having this issue with my old phone, regarding many other apps. The problem was that each time an app updated, it got removed from the list of options and then re-added. So it's as if it's a new app being added to the list of possible options, and every time I tried to do something, it'd always keep re-asking me. I haven't had this problem with my new Android phone, but that may be what is happening. Considering that the app is in alpha and gets updated constantly, that bug could be a bit frustrating.
    – animuson StaffMod
    Jan 16, 2014 at 15:33
  • @mike It concerns the way that SE wrote the Android app...
    – user206222
    Jan 16, 2014 at 16:01
  • @animuson This is for every SE link, regardless of updates, though.
    – user206222
    Jan 16, 2014 at 16:01
  • I imagine it's a problem with the mask used to determine where a link should be opened. That's why I ask here
    – user206222
    Jan 16, 2014 at 16:03
  • No repro on Nexus 7 (4.4.2).
    – 3ventic
    Jan 16, 2014 at 16:49

2 Answers 2


I'm unable to see the issue you described on my end. I hit "Always" after choosing "Chrome" to load an a meta question link, then no matter what I clicked (profile pages, SO questions, home pages, all things which have the ability to open up in the android app) they loaded in the browser.

I'm assuming this is the situation animuson described in his comment in which each app update is making the phone lose your setting (and we do app updates nightly) which would make me think you should instead be asking this question on Android.SE since it's not related to the android app's code.

  • It definitely prompts me for every question link. It's a pretty basic thing for me to test; I'm not screwing it up. I understand that it's not reproducible, though - I wonder why...
    – user206222
    Jan 16, 2014 at 16:33
  • Yeah I'm curious about that too. I'm using a Nexus 5 on 4.4.2 and it's not losing my default option even after I manually updated the app. Jan 16, 2014 at 16:34
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    /shrug. I'll keep an eye out for any good explanation. I'll let you know if I find anything. Thanks!
    – user206222
    Jan 16, 2014 at 16:36

I imagine it's a problem with the mask used to determine where a link should be opened. That's why I ask here.

It's undoubtedly an Android issue, and not one with the app itself. An app can only say, "I can open these kinds of links," not "I will open these kinds of links," or even, "Prompt every time." If this were possible, it would undermine the whole Intent system that links apps together. Even on a rooted phone, you'd have to modify the way the OS is handling Intents under the scenes.

I notice you say you are on a Samsung Galaxy S4 with version 4.3. Is this the official version, or a custom ROM? I ask because I've seen a similar issue with a custom 2.2 ROM in the past, but I can't recall which one at the moment.

Apart from the OS itself, it could also be an issue with the browser you're using to click the links. That app may decide to prompt you with an app picker every time, but that isn't due to anything within the SE app itself. If it does, though, it's most likely a bug on the browser side, and you should file a bug report.

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