Android Tip of the Day: Change Any Default App

Manage app thumb

Have you installed an app that replaces one of the preinstalled phone apps, but the original app still fires up when you try to do something with the new one? Don’t fret, Android has a way to reassign the default app to use in any situation, if you know how to do it. Our Android tip of the day shows you how to use any app as a default for particular tasks.

The best way to demonstrate this method is by example. Say you installed a nifty new web browser and you like it so much you want to use it for every web sessions instead of the stock browser that came on the phone. The problem is, every time you tap a bookmark in the widget on the home screen, it opens up the old browser. You can override that behavior with just a few simple steps.

Tap the Menu button on your phone and select the Android Settings option. Scroll down to the Applications section and tap it. On the next screen, tap Manage Applications and then the All tab on the subsequent screen. Scroll down the list of apps until you see the old browser listed and tap that entry. On the next screen look for the “Launch by default” section and hit the Clear defaults button.

Go back to the Home screen, and take an action that would trigger the browser, like hitting the bookmark on a widget. A dialog box will pop up like the one on the right, because Android no longer knows which browser is the default. Tick the “Use by default for this action” box and then tap the browser you want to use. The new app will run as expected, and will do so every time you perform a similar action. Don’t worry if you forgot to tick the default button, the option to do so will be presented every time you repeat this type of action until you set the default app.

This method works with any Android app, even system apps like the launcher at the bottom of the screen. Simply perform this procedure an any app as specified. Note that this works on Android 2.2 (Froyo), it may not on earlier versions.

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