Services & Software

How to share custom short URLs from your Android

Want to share short URLs that you can pronounce? Or just keep a history of links you share on your Android? This app makes both easy.

Sharing links with friends on Android leaves you at the mercy of the app you're using to shorten the ridiculously long ones. Plus, you won't be able to easily see how many times your link has been clicked. Unless, of course, you use an app like URL Shortener.

Instead of generating a random mix of letters, you can control the structure of your short URL with seven choices, including lower and upper case, pronounceable, numbers only and custom. While smartphones can easily open a link, these choices will make it less cumbersome if your recipient wants to type the URL into a desktop browser. Additionally, you can add statistic tracking with several of the providers, giving you useful info about whether or not your links are being seen.

Step 1: Grab a copy of URL Shortener for your Android device.

Step 2: Open the app and head to Settings so you can choose your preferred URL provider (six choices), and whether you want to enable tracking. Unfortunately, you cannot set a default structure.

URL Shortener main and settings menus.

Nicole Cozma/CNET

Step 3: When you're ready to share a link you have two options:

  • Copy the URL and paste it into the app, giving you access to structure choices, and allowing you to divert from your default URL shortening service.

Note: According to tips offered by Guiding Tech, does not support anything other than standard structure, and tinyurl does not offer statistics.

  • Share the link with the URL Shortener app (listed as Shorten URL in the menu). This option will not let you choose between URL structures, but will follow your default provider choice. You'll be able to copy the URL quickly, or share it through another app.

URL Shortener history menu.

Nicole Cozma/CNET

As an added bonus, the app will keep a history of all URLs you shorten.

What's your preferred method of shortening URLs? Share your thoughts in the comments.