Android Ideas

I wish I could search the Android Market by intent filters.

I was wondering recently what apps out there implemented ACTION_SEND. It would be great if apps in the Android Market listed their intent filters just like they list their permissions. Then there could be a way to filter by these, or I could use a Google site search of the Android Market.

If you don’t know what intent filters are, they’re how apps tell each other what they’re able to do and with what types of files. One example is media players, they often have long lists of file types (mp3, wav, etc.) for which they are able to handle ACTION_VIEW intents, which basically means to open a file.

If it was possible to search the market by intent filters, you could instantly get every app that can play FLAC files, or every app that can edit JPEG images. It would be more precise than relying on the description. Many details are too subtle/inside baseball-ish to make it into app descriptions. This would also greatly benefit developers who are wondering what apps out there could interact with their apps, or even wondering if an app they’re thinking of creating exists already.

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  1. use the file: operator
    file:pdf for example

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