Android P Might Allow Automatic Launching of Apps When Certain Devices Are Connected

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Mar 21, 2018
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Over the past few weeks, we’ve learnt a lot about Android P (except its name, but we’ll get there). So far, we know that the yet-to-be-named version of Android will let carriers tweak how the signal bar looks, deny background apps access to the microphone and camera, come with a built-in call recorder and more. The developer preview released a few days ago gave us a peek into some of the UI changes that the OS brings. You can read more about it here. However, there are still some features that are yet to be revealed, and the latest one that has come to light involves apps launching automatically when certain devices are connected.

Automatic app launching in Android P is very clearly a work in progress. According to a teardown of Android P’s SystemUI APK by XDA developers, it’ll trigger the launch of predefined apps when a phone connects to certain devices or accessories. We don’t know how much of it can be customised and what parameters can be tweaked, yet. It’s unclear as to which apps and contexts will be supported. Certain categories of applications might very well be excluded depending on the accessories involved. “Connected” might refer to Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, USB, or a combination of all three.

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Currently, no mechanism exists in Android that mimics such behaviour. To get apps to launch automatically, one requires the use of third-party applications such as IFTTT, Automate, and Tasker, which offer an elaborate set of automation tools. For example, you can configure Tasker to open Google Play Music when you connect to your car’s Bluetooth speaker system.

It’ll be a while before Android P’s feature comes close to replacing the likes of Tasker, but it’s a start. It would pair very well with Android P’s support for Bluetooth HIDD, which allows you to use your smartphone as a PC input device as it would allow a touchpad app or mouse app could open automatically every time your phone pairs with your laptop.

Source: XDA developers

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