AddToAny Blog

The new universal sharing menu design

August 14th, 2014

Next week, AddToAny is rolling out a brand new design for the universal sharing menu. As a matter of fact, one menu leads to another in the new design:

Menu 1 — The new “mini” menu of services in a classic drop-down

Service links are larger, legibly labeled, and closer in proximity to the universal share button. Email is a default service instead of a tab. The More button is more pronounced and serves to launch a brand new modal menu featuring all services.

New sharing menu drop-down design

Menu 2 — The new “full” menu of services in a modal dialog

This menu makes better use of space and is fully responsive for displays small & large across mobile, desktops, tablets and hybrid devices. Email services from the former design’s email tab are here, too, and finding multiple services is faster and friendlier on mobile & tablets.

New sharing menu modal design

The new AddToAny design modernizes the end-user experience by increasing usability and removing complexity. We bid farewell to tabs, thick borders, and superfluous text in favor of subtle refinements that include large touch targets, intuitive cues, native smooth scrolling, instant button responses, and a whole lot more that just works.

All web browsers are supported in this update, even Internet Explorer 6, which is decades old but surprisingly not difficult to accommodate. This continues AddToAny’s long tradition of efficiently supporting the widest array of browsers, devices, and configurations.

Backwards compatibility is another key feature of the new design. Configurations applied to previous AddToAny menus are aptly applied to menus of the new design. Typical customizations do not require publisher-side changes; custom menu colors and most CSS overrides port over perfectly.

The new design rolls out to sites starting next week, and we’re excited about the follow-on releases that build upon and enhance the new design.

While we’re working on the next release, please get in touch if you have any feedback at all. Enjoy!


Developers & Designers

Developers and designers should take note of a few changes that may affect deeper modifications to previous AddToAny menu versions:

  • Service links no longer have an HTML ID. Instead of hiding services using CSS, you can now exclude specific services with a single line of JavaScript.
  • Menu and service link widths have changed, and dimensional overrides (height & width) should be avoided generally. Such overrides to the old design may impact how the new menus display.
  • Custom margins are generally not recommended due to box-sizing calculations, so we recommend applying padding, if necessary, instead of margins.
  • Custom border sizes are generally not recommended due to box-sizing calculations. We recommend applying box-shadow to increase the visual size of a border, and we recommend matching the background color to hide a border altogether.

Taking the above notes and AddToAny guides into consideration, feel free to inspect and target A2A class names and IDs to override all sorts of other styling declarations. As always, let us know if you have any feedback.

You can test drive the new AddToAny right here.

Joomla share buttons plugin available now

April 8th, 2014

AddToAny’s share buttons plugin for Joomla has officially arrived!

This brand new sharing plugin makes it easy to place AddToAny on Joomla sites and is compatible with Joomla versions 2.5 through 3+. Like our other platform plugins, you can definitely expect AddToAny to support future Joomla releases as well.

Joomla

Joomla publishers and developers have been asking about an official AddToAny Joomla extension for [far too many] years. Many used Bill Smith’s original AddToAny extension through Joomla 1.5, and those on a more recent Joomla release had to implement AddToAny’s general code or write their own Joomla extension. Code can be wonderful, especially for customization, but plug & play appeals to all, especially when it just works. We’ve struck a balance between both camps in version 1.0.0 of our Joomla plugin.

Once installed & enabled (it’s pretty easy), the AddToAny plugin automatically displays share buttons below each article. Each article’s buttons share the respective article. You can change AddToAny’s placement to the top, bottom, or top and bottom of your content. You can choose whether to display share buttons in articles on the Front Page, or to exclude certain categories. You can disable sharing for individual articles too.

The default share buttons are AddToAny’s mightily efficient and beautiful SVG share icons, including Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and of course AddToAny’s universal share button. You can add or remove services, use custom icons, and insert custom HTML.

Perhaps best of all, the AddToAny Options panel allows you to customize AddToAny with additional JavaScript from AddToAny’s JavaScript API. This opens up a great range of customizability, and each feature is usually just a few lines or a single line of code. Check out the docs for what you can do. For example: track shared links with URL shorteners, apply a custom Twitter message, apply a custom email template, customize the universal share menu, and so much more.

We’re excited to officially bring AddToAny sharing to more Joomla sites, and we look forward to your feedback to make the AddToAny plugin the best Joomla extension for sharing.

AddToAny fixes sharing on the mobile web, enabling mobile web-to-app sharing

February 25th, 2014

Sharing links from a mobile web browser to the native apps on your device should be straightforward, and when you click a service’s share button on the mobile web, you expect the respective app to open, but it doesn’t yet. AddToAny is solving the problem by bringing native apps a big step closer to users of the open web.

First up: Twitter & Google+

Coming this week, AddToAny will begin giving mobile device users the option to share a link using official apps instead of mobile websites.

Oftentimes, for example, a Twitter user is logged into the official Twitter app on their device but not signed into twitter.com in their mobile browser. So the user foregoes sharing because logging in feels like a chore on the mobile web. A brand new AddToAny feature fixes this roadblock and further enables link sharing on mobile. It works like a charm, and you’ll see it in action by the end of the week.

Google+ mobile web-to-app sharing works just like it does for Twitter, and will also be available to AddToAny users by the end of the week.

Share links from the web to the Twitter app with AddToAny Share links from the web to the Google+ app with AddToAny

Next up: WhatsApp

All over the world, people know WhatsApp as a favorite messaging service that works between phones. In the United States, people know WhatsApp as that 11-digit acquisition by Facebook, so truly, many of us are just learning how cool a service WhatsApp is over here.

Coolest thing about WhatsApp in our opinion? The app openly accepts message sharing from the web, and where messages are accepted, links are to be shared. Thanks to their excellent foresight with their native app, today we finally welcome WhatsApp to AddToAny’s universal sharing service, and we’re happy to be the first to include them. Enjoy sharing directly to WhatsApp from websites on your iPhone, BlackBerry, Nokia, Symbian, or Windows Phone.

About all those other apps

The web still eagerly awaits Facebook, Skype and dozens of other popular apps to support message passing (and thus shared links) like Twitter, Google+, and WhatsApp do. We implore mobile app developers to consider offering protocols & URI schemes that accept messages & links, particularly if their service is already included (or to be included) in AddToAny.

Like always, expect AddToAny to swiftly enable mobile web-to-app link sharing as soon as a mobile app supports it. We’re already following up with a few other services right now that we hope to mobilize soon.

As for standard SMS, we wish it worked as standardly open as sharing via email works, so we raise the question: Which mobile operating systems will be the first to implement the SMS protocol correctly to allow for an initial message? Until then, consider using Twitter and Google+, and consider WhatsApp!

Try sharing from the mobile web