Home Smartphone 25+ forgotten or hidden shortcuts on your Android homescreen

25+ forgotten or hidden shortcuts on your Android homescreen


While you spend plenty of your day digging into Android as I do, you begin in search of methods to get to issues sooner. One shortcut equals a number of saved faucets and seconds, which add up over a day, week, and extra. With time, I’ve uncovered increasingly more fascinating Android or Google-specific shortcuts that save me each day from the menial and repetitive job of digging into settings or apps. On this article, I will share a few of these shortcuts with you so you can also really feel the small pleasure of reaching your favourite options and settings sooner and extra effectively.

Icons for hidden pre-installed apps

A number of pre-installed apps on our Android telephones do not present up by default within the app drawer. Attending to them is just a little convoluted if you do not know find out how to, so the straightforward trick is to launch them as soon as and add their shortcut to your app drawer and/or homescreen.

  • Gboard: Open the Play Retailer and seek for Gboard. If it is put in in your telephone, you possibly can faucet Open in its retailer itemizing, which works straight to Gboard’s settings. Go to Superior > Present app icon and toggle it on. That’ll put a Gboard icon in your app drawer.
  • Digital Wellbeing: Open your telephone’s settings, scroll all the way down to Digital Wellbeing & parental controls and open it. On the app’s fundamental display, you will discover Present icon within the app listing, which may be toggled on.
  • Stay Transcribe: Though you will discover the app in your telephone’s accessibility settings, the simplest approach is to seek for it on the Play Retailer. If it is put in in your telephone, open it and you have to be instantly requested if you wish to add its icon to your app listing. If not, you will discover the choice within the app’s settings.
  • Sound Amplifier: Equally to Stay Transcribe, discover the app on the Play Retailer, open it, and approve the pop-up that asks you so as to add it to the app listing. You can even discover the choice within the overflow menu on the highest proper.

Left to proper: Present icon within the app drawer for Gboard, Digital Wellbeing, Stay Transcribe, and Sound Amplifier.

“Apps” from the Google app

The Google app is residence to a number of options you can get to with variable ease. Some, like Assistant, may be opened with a easy gesture, however others require a little bit of tinkering. Google provides “apps” on the Play Retailer to hurry issues up; right here they’re:

Along with these, Assistant has two hidden shortcuts that may make your life lots simpler for those who use Google’s digital helper lots:

  • Assistant settings: After putting in the standalone Assistant app above, faucet and maintain on the app’s icon and it is best to get three in-app launcher shortcuts — Settings, Discover, and My Day. Faucet and maintain on the Settings one then drag it into your homescreen. That is the quickest approach to get to Assistant settings the place you possibly can change your language settings, handle your music providers, arrange fee strategies, and way more.
  • Assistant Snapshot: Snapshot is Assistant’s Google Now substitute with all your upcoming occasions, journey, deliveries, and extra. However attending to it is not simple: it’s a must to open Assistant then faucet the underside left inbox-like icon (which many individuals most likely ignore). The primary time you do that, you will get a card on the prime asking if you wish to add a shortcut to your homescreen. Settle for that and you will have a Snapshot icon in your homescreen. It is inferior to swiping proper to see the feed, however it’s lots sooner than launching Assistant first. Beware, although, for those who dismiss the cardboard, it’s a must to clear the Google app’s information to get it once more. There isn’t any different approach to set off it.

Left: Assistant Settings shortcutCenter: Assistant Snapshot shortcut. Proper: All 6 shortcuts.

Secret shortcuts from the Google app

Staying throughout the Google app, you could discover that some searches normally set off Google to give you a homescreen shortcut to get to that performance sooner subsequent time. Probably the most identified one might be climate, however there’s extra.

Some sports activities searches — particular leagues or competitions — normally provide that, however there is no actual rhyme or motive behind them. Normally, the shortcut is obtainable the primary time, and for those who dismiss it, you are by no means requested once more, much like the Assistant Snapshot instance above. To get the query once more, it’s a must to clear the Google app’s information and re-do the search. However in some instances, you will discover a straightforward and dependable approach to get to that shortcut. I do know, I do know, it does not make sense, however it’s what it’s.

  • Google Dictionary: The primary time you attempt to discover any phrase’s definition in a Google app search, you get a pop-up on the backside of the display asking so as to add a Dictionary shortcut. It will not present up once more and there is no different approach to set off it.
  • Phrase Coach: Beneath Google’s definition playing cards there may be typically a second Phrase Coach card for testing your vocabulary information. It is a enjoyable approach to be taught English, and every card has a shortcut so as to add Phrase Coach to your homescreen at its backside left — search for the small telephone icon with a diagonal arrow.
  • Google Climate: Seek for the climate on Google to get the climate card, then faucet the overflow (three-dot) button on the highest proper and select Add to residence display.

Left: DictionaryCenter: Phrase Coach. Proper: Climate.

This subsequent set makes use of Chrome to bypass the dearth of correct shortcuts for these options within the Google app. I want Google would provide them natively, or at the least make all of them Progressive Internet Apps.

  • Google Journey: We might not be touring too typically lately, however as soon as we do, I guess you will typically need to test your upcoming journey plans. Go to journey.google.com in Chrome and scroll down within the Journeys tab to discover a card marked as Return to your journeys anytime. This allows you to add a Journey icon to your homescreen. It is virtually nearly as good because the standalone Google Journeys app that was killed final 12 months.  You can even faucet the settings (three-dots) button in Chrome on the highest proper then Add to homescreen for those who do not see the cardboard.
  • Reminders: For those who do not need to dig within the Google app or ask Assistant to open your reminders, you possibly can open assistant.google.com/reminders in Chrome and add a homescreen shortcut for that web page.
  • Google Collections: The Google app’s Collections may be tremendous useful. To open them rapidly, open google.com/save in Chrome and, like above, add a shortcut to your homescreen for that web page.

Left: JourneyCenter: Collections. Proper: Reminders.

Widget shortcuts

I perceive if you have not checked out your telephone’s widget picker shortly. Many people do not use them as a lot as we did a number of years in the past, or we add the one or two that we like and by no means test different choices once more. However a few of these widgets are literally easy shortcuts, they usually’re price including to your homescreen.

  • Google Maps Driving Mode: This shortcut launches Maps’ built-in driving mode, which is powered by Android Auto or at the least similar to Auto’s driving interface. The shortcut does not launch the new Assistant Driving Mode if it already rolled out to you, which generally is a plus or not relying on how you are feeling about it. Some individuals do not like the brand new UI, so the shortcut would allow them to get again the previous driving mode.
  • Now Enjoying Historical past: For Pixel telephones with the Now Enjoying characteristic, this shortcut permits you to see the historical past of all acknowledged songs, and open them in YouTube Music or Spotify.
  • Google Sound Search: Though you possibly can ask Assistant to acknowledge music round you, it is sooner to make use of Google’s Sound Search shortcut to right away begin listening.

Left: Google Maps Driving ModeCenter: Now Enjoying Historical past. Proper: Google Sound Search.

One other extraordinarily useful “widget” that I personally use each day is the Settings shortcut characteristic. While you attempt including it to your homescreen, you are given a number of totally different settings sub-menus to select from. As soon as added, it permits you to soar into a selected part in settings straight out of your homescreen. My private favorites amongst these are:

  • Notification log: It lists your most up-to-date notifications so you will discover the one you simply dismissed by mistake. Simply bear in mind to toggle Notification historical past in settings beforehand so you possibly can see these.
  • App information: I exploit it to rapidly get to the app information display of pre-installed and system apps that do not have a launcher icon, like Play Companies for instance.
  • System: It is a quick approach to open developer settings or test for brand new updates.

Left & Center: Add a settings shortcut to your homescreenProper: The hidden notification log.

Google Assistant routines

A couple of days in the past, the Google House app added the choice to create homescreen shortcuts for any of your Assistant routines. To do it, it is advisable to open your routines within the House app (or in Assistant Settings), decide one, then search for the icon within the prime proper that appears like a telephone with a diagonal arrow. Now you possibly can have a fast shortcut to set off your morning, bedtime, or different preset or customized routines.

Add a homescreen shortcut on your House/Assistant routines.

Make your individual shortcut

Two tips allow you to add homescreen shortcuts to options inside virtually any app you utilize. The primary one is the flexibility to break up app launcher shortcuts into their very own icons, like I defined above with Assistant Settings. You can even do that to get a homescreen shortcut for your apps part within the Play Retailer, your subscriptions in YouTube, an incognito tab in Chrome, a brand new occasion in Calendar, and so forth.

Left & Center: Splitting “My apps” into its personal shortcutProper: Extra launcher app shortcuts.

The second is a bit more hidden. Each Android app has a bunch of actions which may be launched instantly with a third-party launcher. Nova helps that, however for those who’re completely satisfied along with your telephone’s launcher, you may get Exercise Launcher from the Play Retailer and undergo the varied actions to see in the event that they do something you are enthusiastic about. Two of my private go-tos are:

  • Information: Android 11 changed the default Information or Downloads app on Android with Google’s particular Information app. The previous recordsdata interface continues to be there and you may get to it by in search of the exercise “com.android.documentsui.recordsdata.FilesActivity” and making a shortcut for it.
  • System UI tuner: A few of you could bear in mind System UI Tuner that confirmed up in Android Marshmallow. The characteristic was “eliminated” with Android 9.0 Pie, however it is nonetheless accessible by means of the “com.android.systemui/com.android.systemui.DemoMode” exercise. It does not do a lot lately, however that is the place you possibly can disable some pointless icons from the standing bar.

“Exercise Launcher” permits you to create shortcuts for any app’s hidden actions. 

I really like utilizing shortcuts to perform issues sooner, be it keyboard shortcuts on my telephone, customized serps in Chrome, textual content enlargement apps, and shortcut icons on my telephone. I do not use all of the examples above, however greater than a dozen of them have turn out to be mainstays on my homescreen and save me some valuable time each day. For those who get pleasure from some other shortcuts — and for those who’ve come throughout these unicorn particular shortcuts contained in the Google app like Climate and Phrase Coach — let me know. I might love nothing greater than so as to add a number of of those to my arsenal.



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