Android users will know that you can easily place an application shortcut or a widget on the home screen by simply pressing anywhere (and hold for 1 second) on the screen. But what if you want to place a shortcut to a feature within an app, like the “Adding new task” section in Astrid, a specific bookmark for your Dolphin browser, or just the “Manage Application” page where you can view and uninstall your apps?
By default, other than the applications and widgets, Android does not come with a way for you to insert shortcuts to anything to the home screen. However, with a little help from the market, we can get this to work easily.
If you have not tried LauncherPro, you really ought to try it. It is the best home replacement app (in my opinion) in the market, and it is getting better with every update.
In LauncherPro, there is this feature that allows you to add Activity shortcuts to your home screen. This is what we are going to use to add shortcuts to anything in your home screen. In this example, we will show you how to add a shortcut to the “Manage Applications” settings page.
2. Press on the home screen to activate the shortcut launcher. Tap on Shortcut
3. Tap on Activities
You will now see all your apps neatly organized in alphabetical order.
4. Scroll down until you see “Settings”. Tap on it to reveal all its activities. Scroll down further until you see the “Manage Application” entry.
5. Tap on it. It will bring you back to the Home screen and prompt you to enter a name for the shortcut.
That’s it. You should now see the shortcut on your home screen.
This is only one simple example. There are plenty of shortcuts that you can create using the “Activities” feature. Things that I have used it for include:
- Shortcut to “new tasks” page for Astrid
- Shortcut to Firefox’s bookmarks
- Shortcut to “Manage Application” setting
- Shortcut to view notes in Catch app
- Shortcut to quickly launch new chat on eBuddy
- And many more…
As you can see, the list is endless.
Alternatively, for those who don’t want to install a full fledge home replacement app just for the shortcut to anything feature, you can also install Any Cut (market link) from the market that provides a similar functionality.
AnyCut has the slight advantage in that it is lightweight and comes with an extra “Create your own shortcut” feature.
One thing I don’t like is that the activities list is not as neatly organized as LauncherPro.
What other ways do you use to create shortcuts to any applications in Android?