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Issue 26111: Stop asking for default app after each update
31 people starred this issue and may be notified of changes. Back to list
Status:  New
Owner:  ----

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Reported by, Feb 27, 2012
I can't be the only one who gets aggravated at the OS for asking which program to perform an action with every time an app gets updated. For instance, when I update my GO Launcher and hit the home button, Android asks which home screen app I want to use.

Please fix this behavior so that I can specify the default app once and forever until I explicitly change the default app.  I just don't see how the current behavior what any user desires.  I can't think of any real-life scenario where it would be useful to ask again after each update.
Feb 27, 2012
To add further clarification:  	

When a user installs a new application that can perform an intent that another app can already perform, the default app should be requested again.  The OS just shouldn't bother the user when the no new application has been installed that serves the intent for which a default has already been chosen.
Feb 27, 2012
There should be a check box at the bottom of the popup window with the label "Use As Default". did you check it?

Yes, when you install new app that does the same thing it will ask you again. I think that is actually a good behavior to allow you to change the default in an easy way.
Feb 28, 2012
I seem to be having difficulty clearly explaining the problem.  Yes, the whole purpose of the bug report is the following scenario:

1.  User installs app (for instance, a new web browser-Dolphin)
2.  User performs intent (for instance clicking a hyperlink from an email)
3.  Android OS asks user which app to use.
4.  User selects Dolphin browser, checks check box at the bottom of the popup window with the label "Use As Default" and selects new web browser app.  
5.  Android Market installs new update for Dolphin.
6.  User performs same intent as #2 (clicking a hyperlink from an email)
7.  Android OS forgets "use as default" setting and Android OS asks user which app to use.  [Steps 3-7 repeat ad infinitum] 

The bug occurs at step 7.
Mar 18, 2012
It's more than an annoyance at over 200 apps linked to market. It flat out gets in the way of getting anything done. If a user is too stupid to change a default or download a market app that makes it easier they are on the wrong mobile platform. At the very least there should be a simple checkbox in system settings to allow the user to decide which way they want this to work with the existing setting the default. I can live with that and I don't think it's really too much to ask. 
Apr 9, 2012
yes, I really want this feature as well, it's annoying to keep asking me which app do I want to use, "the same one I have always used" is always my mental feedback.

if I delete the app, of course, I should be asked to select a new one next time, but if I update with the same app as before, it should just use the existing setting, not request again which app to use.
Apr 13, 2012
This is REALLY annoying and makes for a terrible experience when trying to use voice actions while driving.

If I want to get directions using the long-press on my Bluetooth headset I end up having to pick up my phone, unlock it, make 2 or 3 default app choices just to get my Google navigation to open. The hands free experience is completely destroyed.

There really needs to be an option in addition to "Use as Default". Something like "Keep this setting even if new apps/updates are installed".
Jun 23, 2012
This needs to be changed to not ask the user after EACH app update. 

My browser, app launcher, tasks, agenda widget, calendar, news reader, ebook reader, PDF reader, etc. all ask for which app I want multiple times a week. 

The OS should be much smarter than this to know that an app update should not have changed my default preference. 
Jul 11, 2012
I can't believe there aren't more requests for this. Does anyone know if this is getting fixed in ICS or JellyBean?
Jul 11, 2012
I've stopped all of my automatic updates and rarely apply manual updates because of this defect.  I agree that it does seem incredulous that there aren't more users noticing it.  It could just be that typical users don't recognize that this tedious behavior is completely unnecessary.
Jul 20, 2012
In response to AugieSea, I'm afraid it remains a problem in ICS. 

I never really linked it to updates and just figured that Android did not remember default settings from day to day. I will give it a try and stop updating apps. Also, I suppose rooting and freezing or uninstalling the unwanted alternatives might work?
Nov 2, 2012
I also find this to be a pain. Perhaps it is by design but it's a bad design. My PC doesn't ask me about my default browser every time Firefox updates. If I'm running goo and install foo, it can ask me the first time I open foo but it shouldn't be asking when I open goo. 
Dec 10, 2012
I find this extremely irritating as well.  I would love to customize my parents phone by installing chrome and nova launcher, and not have to present them with a list of options on what app to use whenever they click a link, but every week it seems some browser on the phone updates itself and the preference gets forgot.  May as well not even offer the 'remember my preference' option.

Under what condition is this an acceptable occurrence?  When presented with that screen, why would someone pick anything else than their now forgotten default?
Jan 1, 2013
Can't believe this is the default behaviour.
Feb 27, 2013
This is very irritating. Please prepare any fix
Feb 28, 2013
I'm not sure if people are aware, but at some point in the Android upgrade path, this behavior was changed to behave as one would expect.  It's certainly fixed as of Android 4.1, and probably earlier as well.
Apr 4, 2013
Hate to tell you guys, but it IS being noticed by Users.  So far I know of TWO users who have gone back to iPhones because of this and similar "user hostile" behaviors of Android.  Personally, if I didn't have such a heavy investment in Android, I'd be considering doing the same.  If this is the direction Android is taking towards it's users, it will only get worse over time, not better.

STILL BROKEN as of v4.1.1 (Note 2) and v4.1.2 (Note 10).
Apr 4, 2013
What? They went back to iOS that doesn't even let you choose default apps?
Apr 4, 2013
azday, I'm not sure what you mean.  I too have a Galaxy Note 2 and this issue does not exist in it.  Could you cite an example app that breaks defaults after an update?
May 16, 2013
I've purchased a Samsung Galaxy Tab2 this week - my first Android based product and like it a lot so far. Unfortunately I can also confirm OP's problem with default apps. I had to confirm the default app repeatedly within several different programs. In the email app, a jpeg attachment prompted a default photo app request several times. In "My Files" the same experience for images and mp3s. It gets pretty old fast.

Based on some observations in this thread, several Google app updates did take place, and I installed two file manager apps (total commander & ES File Explorer), both by chance having file viewing capabilities. It would explain the frequency of prompts for a photo app default, but demonstrates how easy an app can globally switch defaults, or cause ambiguity on the system. 

In the same window requesting for an app, I'm prompted to go into Settings /Application Manager / All to set the default. 

"All" is not available... If they mean't swipe to expose "All" App Info / Gallery (ie. for my image issue), it still lists Gallery as default. I'm no further ahead resolving this issue from this method either.
Jun 27, 2013
This is very annoying. I've disabled automatic updates because of this bug. And it is frustating when you give up on installing apps in your relatives devices because they'll get lost anytime they update an app. 
Please give us an option to choose "I want this app as default for this action for good"
Jul 5, 2013
This is poor ui google please fix your android and allow the default setting to be rememred after app upgrades for apps on sdcard and on phone. 
Jul 19, 2013
This also applies to various mime types like Web links to pictures, YouTube urls, etc. I hate having to choose pop-up browser pretty much every time I click a link in Twitter. 
Jul 20, 2013
There is an app on play store you can find by searching for default app manager. The free version simplifies use a bit but does not solve the problem. The paid version claims to however I have not tried it yet.

As to a partial solution and in response to an above post. If you have a rooted device this issue can largely be avoided. You need to minimize on apps that handle the same actions by either deleting or freezing what you don't need... including system apps. For example I have frozen my built in launcher as well as next launcher which I can't afford to buy but don't wish to delete. I have deleted the built in browser in favor of dolphin. Those 2 alone save a lot of headaches.
Apr 28, 2014
I think that the os should pick a default for you by default (according to some basic algorithm- like if there a built in up which can handle the request pick it etc.) And if you want to change the default you'll be able to manually delete that default and change it to something else, using the settings app or holding down some key when firing the wanted request.
Jun 12, 2014
Still broken in android 4.4.2 (galaxy s4). The system should only reset a user selected app default when a NEW candidate app is installed, but not whenever it or another candidate app is updated. OR when an existing default app is uninstalled (of course).

It is very annoying and has remained broken release after release. 

Aug 20, 2014
Still experiencing this issue after years of use. How this has not been fixed yet is beyond me.
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