Android 7.1 is already available on the new Pixel phones. Anyone with a supported Nexus device can join the Android Beta program and test it out as well. One of the highlight features of Android 7.1 is App Shortcuts. App Shortcuts are an imitation of 3D touch shortcuts on iOS and they’re better. Since Android 7.1 isn’t available for most phones at present so not many developers have updated their apps with App Shortcuts. Google on the other hand has updated almost all default Android apps to support App Shortcuts. Here’s a list of the ten most useful shortcuts Google Apps have to offer.
Take A Selfie – Camera
When you long pres the Camera app icon on your home screen or in the app drawer, it gives you two options; Take A Video and Take a selfie.
The ‘Take a selfie’ option will launch the Camera app in the front facing camera view. The camera app by default always opens with the rear camera view active. Even if you switch to the front facing camera, leaving the app will reset it to the rear end camera. For those quick in-the-moment selfies, this shortcut is pretty useful.
Open A New Tab – Chrome
The Chrome app gives you two options when you access its shortcuts; New Tab and New incognito Tab. We’d say both are downright useful but the ‘New Tab’ shortcut is a tad more so when you need to Google something.
When you open Chrome by tapping the app on your home screen or lock screen, you are taken to the last tab you were browsing. You then have to open a new tab for a fresh search (assuming you don’t want to lose the current one). The shortcut takes you straight to a new tab.
Add New Contact – Phone And Contacts App
You can add a new contact via the Phone app and the Contacts app. Both have the same app shortcut; New Contact. It allows you to jump to the add new contact screen and enter the email or phone number you want to save.
Scan – Google Drive
Google Drive lets you scan documents and upload them to your account. It’s a long standing feature in the app and it is one of the three app shortcuts the Google Drive app supports though the other two aren’t bad either.
The ‘Search’ shortcut takes you directly to the search screen and the ‘Upload’ shortcut opens your photos gallery inside the app so you can select files to upload.
Compose New Email – Gmail
The Gmail app has only one shortcut at present but it is nevertheless a useful one; Compose. The shortcut takes you to the compose new email screen, reducing the number of taps it takes to get there.
New Reminder – Calendar
The Calendar app has two app shortcuts; New Reminder and New Event. Objectively speaking, they’re both useful but the reminder option is possibly one you might need to get to when time is short. It takes you straight to the ‘Remind me to’ screen.
Voice Search – Google App
If your device supports Ok Google’s always On mode, this shortcut might not be much use to you. If not, you can long press the Google app icon, and tap ‘Voice Search’ to jump straight into it. You can then speak whatever it is you want to search for.
My Library – Play Music
The Play Music app when launched doesn’t take you directly to your music library. It has a ‘My Library’ app shortcut that will take you directly to the songs’ list. We’re not quite sure what the ‘I’m feeling lucky’ shortcut does but it doesn’t appear to do anything very useful.
New List And New Note – Keep
Keep is Google’s feature rich but greatly underrated note taking app. You can create a text, photo, and audio note. Keep has two very useful app shortcuts; New list and New Note. Both are equally useful though if you prefer photo notes, the app has a shortcut for that too.
New Conversation – Messages
The Messages app has two types of app shortcuts; one for creating a new conversation thread and the other is reserved for your most frequent or recent contact. The Hangouts app has something similar in that it lets you start a new chat or video or voice call.