How to get the most out of Android app shortcuts


Image: ZDNet

If your Android gadget just lately up to date to 7.1, you may need observed a specific function has returned, one which brings new ranges of effectivity to the platform. The function I converse of is software shortcuts. This new addition to Android (initially showing within the second developer preview of Nougat, solely to be pulled earlier than closing launch) permits you to acquire fast entry to sure options of your apps, with out requiring you to first open the app in query.

Before I proceed, do word that not each app helps shortcuts. As of this writing, solely particular apps embody the function (apps corresponding to):

  • Chrome (new tab or new incognito tab)
  • Gmail (choose which account to view or compose a brand new e-mail)
  • Hangouts (new voice name, video name, or chat)
  • Play Store (my apps)
  • Keep (new word, record, photograph word, or audio word)
  • Drive (search, scan, add)
  • YouTube (trending, subscriptions, search)
  • Google (search in apps, latest, voice search, search)
  • Maps (work or house)
  • Phone Dialer (new contact)
  • Clock (begin stopwatch, create new timer, or create new alarm)
  • Messenger (create message to certainly one of your most up-to-date contacts or begin a brand new dialog)
  • Settings (battery, information utilization, or Wi-Fi)
  • Spotify (search)

If you are curious as as to whether or not your apps are supported, open up your App Drawer and lengthy press an app; if an software shortcut menu seems, your app is supported!

What does the function add to the platform? Imagine you will have the Gmail launcher on your private home display screen (or in in a folder on your private home display screen, and even from throughout the App Drawer). You must compose a fast e-mail. What do you do? You launch Gmail after which faucet the compose button, proper? Not when you have Android 7.1. Instead, you lengthy press the Gmail launcher for a second (you may be rewarded with a vibration) and let go, faucet the Compose shortcut (Figure A), and begin composing your e-mail. One much less step to soak up an extended day of steps.

Figure A

Figure A

Gaining immediate entry to the GMail Compose button.

But provided that there have been a solution to acquire much more effectivity from this useful addition to the Android homescreen.

Even shorter shortcuts

Leave it to the Android builders to make a shortcut even shorter. What is that little bit of magic that I converse of? This is the place the app shortcuts actually get useful. If you lengthy press one of many supported app icons after which faucet and drag one of many app shortcuts to your homescreen, you may discover an icon now out there for that exact software shortcut. Say, as an illustration, you need fast entry to the Gmail compose function; lengthy press the Gmail icon after which, when the shortcut menu seems, faucet and drag the compose shortcut to your homescreen. You will now see a Compose launcher able to make your life a bit simpler (Figure B). Tap that to instantly open the Gmail compose window.

Figure B

Figure B

The Gmail Compose shortcut prepared for motion.

The function continues to evolve

Since its authentic preview launch, the App Shortcut function has continued to evolve. The one factor I wish to see is the flexibility so as to add custom-made shortcuts (corresponding to a shortcut for a selected contact within the dialer or Gmail menu). Even with out that function, App Shortcuts are a fast manner to assist make your Android expertise way more environment friendly. Start utilizing App Shortcuts and see how shortly you develop to depend upon them.

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