Ultimate Guide on How to Create Shortcuts in Android

Technology has developed a lot in past few years. There are many things that proves this statement. One of them is smartphone. The production and development of smartphones increased gradually in short period of time and of course, their users along with that. Android and iOS are one of the popular platform /operating system for these smartphones with million of users backing them up. But I bet you already know this since you may already own a phone or maybe couple of phones running on either Android or iOS or maybe both. If you have iOS smartphone, then I have nothing else to tell you ( for now ). But Android user or not,I am sure reading this will be worth of your time.

So you ever wonder what makes your phone smartphone?The answer would be it makes life more easier. Now this is not about some philosophy ideas or anything like that. It’s just smartphone makes work easy,that’s all. Smartphone is preloaded with many apps and stuff to fulfill that very requirement. You can also install apps according to your requirements. But with so many apps installed, it is painful to easily access different apps at different time. To help with that,smartphone gives “Shortcut” function and allows to create shortcut of different things. But again,You may already know that.

This article is particularly about android smartphones.(Duhh!title already said that). Enough with intro,let’s jump to topic. Here are some techniques to create shortcuts for different things. Not just for apps but also to anything else that smartphone provides.

Shortcut : For Apps

Now everyone already know how to make shortcut to apps. But this article is about every different ways to create shortcut,that is why it is in list.So here it is (again):
Touch and hold the icon of app in menu to create it’s shortcut. You can place it to any home screens of your device by long pressing the app icon. Now what if there are many app shortcuts on home screen?You can create different “Folders” and keep app shortcuts in it. Like a folder for all work related apps,other folder for games shortcuts etc. It is great way for keeping many shortcuts on home screens and it also keeps your home screen clean.
Use Widgets as shortcut. By long pressing in the home screen or by pressing “menu” physical button(depending on your device) ,you can add widgets to home screens. Many apps have their own widgets. You can add widgets for Music player,Google Playstore,Calculator,Clock ,Your favorite contacts and even your favorite bookmarked webpages.

Shortcut:For Files

So I can make shortcuts to app,but can I make shortcuts to file? Yes indeed you can. You can make shortcuts to files like photos,music mp3,document files or any other type of files. You can do it via file managers.Default File manger supports this function as well as file managers like Es File Explorer File Manager and Astro File Manager. Procedure is same in every manager,so here are details using default File Manager (of Cyanogenmod 11) as example:
1. Open File Manager (obviously!).
2. Navigate to file or files which you want it as shortcut on home screen.
3. Touch and long press the file.
4. A window with lot of actions will pop up.
5. Select “Add shortcut” and shortcut would be created on home screen.

Shortcut:For Activities 

Next you can create shortcut for activities. You can call activities as different functions/process of apps. Like alarm,stopwatch etc are activities of stock Clock. Unfortunately it is not supported by default launcher,but if you are using Nova and Apex Launcher, you can use it’s feature to make shortcut to activities.
If you want to stick with default launcher and not to switch with the custom launcher for activities shortcut, there are few apps you can download and try from Google Store. QuickShortcutMaker  app allows you to make shortcut to the activities. You can select from the list of activities installed on your phone. This app is free to download and easy to use.
Tasker is another app for this job. It is not free app but it is not a problem since it have more than 200+ built-in actions. Their are limitless possibilities with Tasker. If you still think it is not enough ,there are many plugins available to fulfill your requirements. They are free,which makes Tasker a big app for small price.



This section consists of different shortcut methods. You can use your device’s physical buttons to make your own shortcuts. You will think there are few buttons, so how can use them to to make many shortcuts? You can set different conditions of buttons to create different shortcut. If you are using newer version of Android or Cyanogenmod 11,you can set these shortcut in Settings > Buttons. You can also try Home2 app if you don’t find “buttons” option in your settings.

There is another option for shortcuts which you can set in Settings >Lock screen. You can set physical button actions while phone is lock and can also set Screen Unlocking Slider shortcuts. There is one more option you can find it under “Lock Screen” settings menu. By checking Custom Widgets box ,you can add widgets to lock screen.Lock the phone and then press power button to see Unlocking Slider and slide screen to left and you can add new widgets.

One of the easiest way for making shortcut is setting up a “Event”. You can set up event by giving specific time and what to do at that time. For example,to start music at 10:00 pm etc.Power Schedule app is useful for such task.It is free,but you can find many more apps on Google Playstore for this task.

 Shortcut:For Keyboard

Yes,there are shortcuts for even Android virtual keyboards. But these shortcuts are not for apps or activities. You can make shortcut for different words. If you have big thumbs or don’t like to type long words,you can make shortcuts for words.You can set it by:
1.  Settings > Language & Input > Personal Dictionary.
2.  Hit “+” button on top right corner.
3.  In the first box type the whole word or phase.For example “as soon as possible”
4.  In next box,set shortcut word for first box.In our example it will be “asap”.
5.  Now next time when you type asap,you will see “as soon as possible” above.

Now if you own a Android Device with physical keyboard , you have more shortcut options. Here is a list of Hotkeys. Note that it can be different for devices and different Android version:

Shortcuts For Scrolling:

Spacebar: Page down in any Web page/document view;
Shift + Spacebar: Page up in any Web page/document view;

Shortcuts For Typing:

Alt + Spacebar: Insert a special character;
Shift + Del: Delete the character to the right of the cursor;
Alt + Del: Delete an entire line;
Shift + Shift (press it twice): Activate caps-lock; press shift once more to exit;
Alt + Trackball-Left: Move cursor to beginning of line;
Alt + Trackball-Right: Move cursor to end of line;
Alt + Trackball-Up: Move cursor to top of page;
Alt + Trackball-Down: Move cursor to bottom of page;
Shift + Trackball-Left/Right: Highlight text for cutting or copying;
Menu + X: Cut text;
Menu + C: Copy text to clipboard;
Menu + V: Paste text from clipboard;
Menu + A: Select all text in the current field;

Shortcuts For Apps:

Search + B: Open browser;

Search + C: Open contacts;
Search + E: Open e-mail;
Search + G: Open Gmail;>
Search + I: Open calendar;
Search + M: Open maps;
Search + P: Open music;
Search + S: Open text messaging;
Search + Y: Open YouTube;

Shortcuts For Browsing:

Menu + I:Zoom in;
Menu + O: Zoom out;
Menu + J: Go back a page;
Menu + K: Go forward a page;
Menu + R: Refresh current page;
Menu + F: Find on page;
Menu + B: Open bookmarks;
Menu + S: Open social network sharing menu;
Menu + H: View browsing history;
Menu + S: Open browser settings;

If you have any more ways for making shortcuts,leave a comment below 🙂

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