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Android App Shortcuts

android app shortcuts

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Hey there! There’s still not too many 7,1 Android versions, but let’s make something that could have a great use in future, app shortcuts. The API is extremely easy, takes just few minutes to implement it in your app. I bet you can do it faster than reading this post. I’m not kidding. Let’s get started then!

Android is picking up lots of iOS stuff, but who cares? Shortcuts is one of them. It allows you to declare static and dynamic shortcuts. What are possible use cases for each?

I have an app for displaying latest movies. Static shortcuts would be perfect for different sort types. Something like those 3 : Most Popular, Latest, Top Rated. Each one is just a filter setting. Dynamic links are way cooler! The great use case is for Netflix. Let’s say you watch some TV series. You want to access it fast and easy. Create a shortcut and put in right on the home screen. With this icon you go straight to your favorite series. Also dynamic shortcuts are great when generated automatically. Like they have it on G Maps for most visited location.

Static Shortcuts

Need to add this tag to the launcher activity

And that’s the xml file

That’s it, now in your activity check if there’s an extra bundle with this name in the intent. If so it means you opened that activity through a link and we display movies with that sort type. That’s the shortcuts that I got

android app shortcuts

Clean Build

Sometimes when you create new static shortcuts they don’t appear. You need to clean you build then.

Dynamic Shortcuts

Here you can make lot’s of fun stuff. Now I just create a manual shortcut to a movie.

This will always keeps only one movie shortcut because they have the same id

Different Launchers

Unfortunately not all launchers even display shortcuts. I had this Evie Launcher with great controls which didn’t have shortcut display. Shortcuts for Android are relatively new stuff, but when you get the feel of them it’s really handy. Especially extracting them as a separate icon


It won’t create that circle around your icon by default. If you use vector drawable, then just add this circle and wrap yours with a group. That’s one of my icons

Scale will do all the magic. No need to modify paths.


Alright, it’s really easy to add shortcuts in your Android app. You can get the source code here. Don’t forget to subscribe, follow me on G+, Twitter, Facebook and share with friends if you think they will benefit from it!

About the Author Ihor Klimov

Android developer, love statically typed programming languages and hate JavaScript. This blog is everything that I find exciting about Android development and more. Stay tuned and hope to see you again!

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