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I just opened a link to a friend's Medium post inside Hangouts, and when I view all running apps (the recent-tasks list), the task with the Medium post in it is my Hangouts rather than a separate Medium window. Opening Medium, it's doing its own thing. Opening Hangouts, it shows the Medium post -- I can't go look at other chats or anything without closing the Medium post I'm reading. This is frustrating, as I might want to switch between typing comments in Hangouts and reading the article (for example).

I would like more generally to stop apps from doing "this sort of thing" if possible (though I expect this isn't possible). When Twitter introduced an in-app browser, I turned that off as fast as I could find the setting -- I want to be able to open links and then switch right back to Twitter, letting the link load in the browser while I read a few more tweets. Hangouts appears not to have introduced any setting to disable this behavior. I've noticed a couple other apps do "this sort of thing" as well, though specific instances slip my mind now; a general solution would be great.

I've checked, and this (new?) behavior in Hangouts is identical on my (Cyanogenmod) phone and my (Samsung) tablet.

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    If you're open to solutions for root users, I saw an Xposed module that could possibly help you. It's called ActivityForceNewTask, but it hasn't been updated since 2015. – Death Mask Salesman May 25 '16 at 8:05
  • I have been long not using Hangout, but is there an overflow menu (3 dots) on the top-right, saying "Powered by Chrome" when you tap it? Recently, Google apps integrated Chrome Custom Tabs on their apps (e.g. Google Now, Google Search), so I guess Hangouts is included. – Andrew T. May 25 '16 at 8:31
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    @DeathMaskSalesman , that module is the app for the job, but I guess it probably won't work with MM and above (as you said, it hasn't been updated since last year). However, for KK and below, I can guarantee it works, and works well. – Tamoghna Chowdhury May 25 '16 at 14:23
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    @AndrewT., No, there is not. The current problem is with hangouts opening the Medium app, not the chrome app (though generally speaking the chrome app is the more common case for this kind of annoyance). – Abram Demski May 26 '16 at 0:36
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This started happening to me too recently. All links in Hangouts messages, when clicked, open in what appears to be a Hangouts-integrated browser. There is NO option to change this behavior.

It is definitely just an embedded instance of the Chrome browser - if you disable the Chrome app entirely, tapping a link in Hangouts gives you the normal "open with" dialog, and you can choose a default (I like the Adblock browser). But with the Chrome browser disabled you can't browse Google Play or update apps. And if you simply re-enable Chrome, it goes right back to opening links in Chrome and silently wipes out the choice of default that you just made.

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