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I have a couple of Bible apps on my phone. Sometimes, other apps link to a Bible verse, but they usually either embed a Bible viewer in the app or only work with a particular app.

I would like to be prompted for an app in the same way that one is prompted for a browser when clicking a link. But this doesn't happen. Why?

Is it the fault of:

  1. The app generating the link;
  2. The Bible app(s) I have installed;
  3. Android itself; or
  4. Some combination of the above?

I'm running Android 4.0.1 (MIUI) on an HTC/Google Nexus One.

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To the down voter: please explain so I can improve my question. – Scott Severance Jul 13 '12 at 23:12
up vote 10 down vote accepted

Short and put in lay terms:

There's no standard defined on how to pass this information between apps, so there are no two apps who can interact the way you want.

Longer and with some more detailed information:

The app-selection menu for e.g. a browser or a homescreen only appears when multiple apps announce their being-available for a certain service, and only when this service is called (to put it in easy words; the longer and more technical variant talks about intents and listerners). While web-browsers and homescreens are somehow "generic services" existing on all Android devices, there are standard "intents" defined (see e.g. this question on stackoverflow for opening a page in a browser -- or this question here which probably explains it even better).

As long as there is no corresponding intent (with a defined API for how to pass it the specific chapter:verse to show), your wish can not be fulfilled. Moreover, application developers must implement this into their apps before you can use it.

As to my knowledge neither such API exists nor is it implemented -- there cannot exist any programs acting according to your wishes (except, of course, both are from the same developer; if two or more agreed on terms of how to handle this, that already would mean defining an API).

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Thanks for your detailed answer. There's one thing that I'm not yet clear on: Is there some formal process that must be followed to set up an appropriate API, or would it be enough for the developers of relevant apps to merely agree on some suitable API? – Scott Severance Jul 13 '12 at 18:07
IMHO, technically both comes to the same end. If you take e.g. apps with support for Tasker -- here Tasker established an API, and other developers use it. This worked mainly due to the popularity of Tasker, I guess -- who would be the "central point" in your case, where multiple apps shall serve multiple other apps? Maybe if one comes up with a good API, others will use it as well. Easiest way for them would be using the "share with" feature. But I am no developer ;) – Izzy Jul 13 '12 at 18:52

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