Android Marshmallow and Management “Confusing” Default Apps

We saw that Android 6.0 Marshmallow has brought many new features under the hood, as they say, not immediately visible at first sight but which make the system more mature and, in some ways, sure. One of these is the much chat app management, with selection of more granular permissions (if somewhat complicated user side, especially in the beginning); but there are also news regarding the default apps -and it’s hard to call them “improvements“.

Up to Lollipop worked like this: when there were two or more app that complete a certain action, featuring the pop up asking the user which one to choose, and whether to make the default choice from then on. Once you’ve set up an app as default, it was necessary to go into the settings for that app and press the button Clear defaults. At that point, so we came back to the situation before the pop-up.

With marshmallows this mechanism still exists, even if the button default Delete is now in a different location:

However, it was observed that with certain classes of app (browser, speech, SMS and phone) this would seem to no longer work. Once you press the button, the correlation is still active and the pop-up choice no longer appears. It still works however the old alternative method to remove or install an app of this class.

It is as if the button Default Deletes do nothing. A bug? Not exactly: this is a feature implemented badly, if not exactly bad, definitely so awkward and unintuitive. The point is thatfor the above app classes is another settings page that governs the behavior, and is located in:

Settings/App/(gear icon)/default apps.

For these categories, the correlation set this section overrides the old Clear Defaults we were used to. Also, can never be an empty entry. To reappear the pop-up choice you must then resort to uninstalling/installing an app in the same class.

Confusion, of course, stems from the fact that When you press the default Delete there is no indication, no communication that tells us if the app belongs to these categories as “protected” managed by new page default apps. The curious thing is that this situation remains from the first developer preview; Nobody has noticed and no one at Google has bothered to make it simpler.


  • The default Erase button still works as expected, except for certain classes of app-Browser, speech, SMS and phone.
  • The default Erase button is now in a different location:settings/App/(gear icon)/permits app
  • Presets for above app classes need to be managed in the new screen located in settings/App/(gear icon)/default apps. None of these classes can never be empty.