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April 10, 2017

Android Shortcuts

Filed under: Main — Tags: — admin @ 12:01 am

The Shortcuts launcher icon feature was added with Android 7 “Nougat.” You might have already accessed this feature by mistake. Don’t let it alarm you!

An Android shortcut appears when you long-press certain launchers on the Home screen. A series of buttons pops up, similar to those shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1. Shortcuts for various home screen launchers (app icons).

You don’t have to use the pop-up shortcuts: If you’re moving the icon, drag it to a new location or to the Remove/Delete icon at the top of the screen. You’re done. And to start the app, just tap the launcher, don’t long-press the icon.

To use a shortcut, tap it: Long-press the launcher and lift your finger. Tap a button. For example, from Figure 1, long-press the Chrome launcher and then choose New Incognito Tab to immediately open an Incognito tab. Or for the Contacts launcher, choose a frequent contact. Or start a New Tweet for Twitter.

Another bonus: You can drag the shortcut button off the launcher and create a new launcher-shortcut icon on the home screen. See the = (equal sign) icon on the right of the shortcut? That’s where you drag the shortcut button. For example, long-press the Chrome launcher, then drag the New Incognito Tab shortcut (use the = sign) to the home screen. Then you can tap that shortcut-launcher to open an Incognito tab or do whatever delightful action the shortcut-launcher does.

Not every app features a pop-up list of shortcut actions. Some apps may change their actions. And this feature might not be available on every Android device, even those that have that Nougat update.

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