App Shortcuts: Getting Began | Kodeco, the brand new


Discover ways to implement App Shortcuts in your Android app to make it extra partaking on your customers.

Most of the mostly used apps devour App Shortcuts to offer customers with quick access to its most vital options. For instance, Instagram supplies shortcuts to Digicam, New Put up, View Exercise, and Direct messages, whereas WhatsApp supplies Digicam and 4 conversations.

All these apps devour the ShortcutManager API for straightforward shortcut creations.

On this tutorial, you’ll discover ways to handle three totally different shortcut varieties:

  • Static shortcuts by means of the xml file.
  • Dynamic shortcuts by means of the code.
  • Pinned shortcuts by means of the code.

Getting Began

Obtain the starter mission by clicking on the Obtain Supplies button on the high or backside of the tutorial. Then, open the starter mission in Android Studio 3.5 or later.

Check out the code. You’ll discover the starter mission with actions, a structure, a shortcut wrapper, and lots of TODOs.

Construct and run the starter mission. You’ll see an empty display with a FabButton that launches a brand new Exercise the place you’ll be able to create a brand new Notice.

Starting activity in QuickNotes app

Attempt utilizing the app. Faucet the FabButton and create a brand new be aware. A brand new be aware will likely be seen within the checklist. Lengthy press the be aware, and BottomSheetDialogFragment will present with two actions.

Actions related to the note

Now you’ll see what kinds of shortcuts are current and see what kind you need to use during which case.

Introducing App Shortcuts

Shortcut performs particular motion within the particular app, triggered from the:

  • Supported launcher.
  • Assistant – e.g. Google Assistant.

Android app shortcuts might make your app extra environment friendly in the event that they’re used appropriately.

A developer has an obligation to deal with which options will present within the app shortcut checklist, however a consumer wants to find them and discover them useful.

Even for folks like us, Android builders, it’s onerous to recollect what number of highly effective instruments Android supplies for the simpler use of the machine. Certainly one of these is app shortcuts performance.

Though app shortcuts are already straightforward to entry by long-pressing the icon on the house display or app checklist, a consumer can pin all of the shortcuts to the house display for even simpler entry.

Builders ought to all the time take into account supporting shortcuts, even when it’s onerous for customers to search out them.

The subsequent part provides you with an outline of the app you’ll create on this article.

Kinds of Shortcuts

The way you ship content material with shortcuts depends upon your use case and whether or not the shortcut’s context is app-driven or user-driven. Regardless of if the shortcut’s context modifications, each static and dynamic shortcuts are pushed by your app.

In circumstances the place a consumer chooses how they need your app to ship content material to them, akin to with a pinned shortcut, a consumer defines the context.

The next situations present a number of use circumstances for every shortcut kind:

  • Static shortcuts: utilized for the content material with the constant construction by means of the lifetime of a consumer’s interplay. Instagram is utilizing it for fast entry to the Posts, Digicam, or Direct messages.
  • Dynamic shortcuts: used for the actions which are context-sensitive. They’re made for the actions customers carry out in an app. For instance, if you happen to’re constructing a recreation that permits the consumer to start out from their present degree, it is advisable replace the shortcut usually.
  • Pinned shortcuts: used for particular, user-driven actions. The very best instance is pinning a selected web site out of your favourite browser. That is useful as a result of it permits the consumer to carry out a customized motion. For e.g. fast navigation to the precise web site

Though we’ve got several types of shortcuts that cowl all use circumstances, there are some limitations that we want to pay attention to.


Although customers can create as many dynamic shortcuts as they need, most supported launchers show as much as 4 shortcuts at a time.If the app helps dynamic shortcuts, select static shortcuts rigorously, so there’s nonetheless some area for a consumer to create dynamic ones.

But, for the dynamic shortcuts used with Google Assistant, use Google Shortcuts Integration Library to keep away from the limitation.

Notice: If you wish to study extra about pushing dynamic shortcuts to Google Assistant comply with this Google Codelabs.

Should you select to not use the Google Shortcuts Integration Library, your app will help a restricted variety of shortcuts at a time.

Generally you’ll need to determine whether or not you need extra static shortcuts or let the consumer create dynamic ones.

To find out what number of shortcuts the launcher helps, use getMaxShortcutCountPerActivity() technique supplied in ShortcutManagerCompat class.

However, in case your app helps pinned shortcuts, you’re protected from these limitations. Launchers don’t have a most variety of pinned shortcuts.

It’s time to leap in on the actions used to handle shortcuts!

Managing App Shortcuts

As you already know, there are three several types of shortcuts, and the consumer manages dynamic ones.

The consumer is ready to do a number of actions with the shortcuts:

  • Push: creates a brand new dynamic shortcut.
  • Replace: updates dynamic shortcuts that exist already.
  • Take away: removes dynamic shortcuts from the checklist.
  • Take away All: removes all dynamic shortcuts.
  • Reordering: provides/updates dynamic shortcuts with the rank property.

Reordering is an motion that occurs as a aspect impact of Push or Replace actions. Entry these motion on the ShortcutManagerCompat API, they usually’re tremendous straightforward to make use of.

Working With Shortcuts

On this part, you’ll discover all of the actions accessible for managing the app shortcuts and easy methods to implement them.

Creating Static Shortcuts

Now, you’re going to start out by creating static shortcuts with predefined and unchangeable actions.

Firstly, within the res package deal, beneath xml subfolder, discover the shortcuts.xml file and open it.

On this file, you’ll discover TODO 1: which you’ll exchange with the next code:

<!-- 1 -->
    <!-- 2 -->
        android:targetPackage="com.yourcompany.quicknotes" />
        android:targetPackage="com.yourcompany.quicknotes" />
    <!-- 3 -->
    <classes android:title="com.yourcompany.quicknotes" />
    <!-- 4 -->
    <capability-binding android:key="actions.intent.CREATE_NOTE" />

That is what you’re code does:

  1. Outline shortcut properties like ID, enabled state, icon, lengthy and brief labels.
  2. Outline screens that opens after a consumer selects the shortcut.
  3. Outline class during which the be aware belongs./li>
  4. Outline the aptitude which hyperlinks the shortcut with the built-in intents.

It’s important to outline the shortcut motion correctly. While you create a shortcut, enable customers to open the display circulation that defines the characteristic they want.

Notice: Functionality binding pertains to the Constructed-in intents which supplies a consumer the choice to entry the characteristic outlined as a shortcut motion by means of the Google Assistant. You’ll be able to see easy methods to obtain that right here.

The next step is to provide an app directions to create static shortcuts. Go to the manifests folder and open AndroidManifest.xml file and exchange TODO 2: with the next code snippet:

    android:useful resource="@xml/shortcuts" />

Your shortcut is able to use. Construct and run the app, go to launcher and lengthy press on the app icon. Press the shortcut, and also you’re able to create a brand new be aware!

Instructions how to create a note with Static shortcut

Okay, that was straightforward. Time to maneuver on to the logic of making dynamic shortcuts.

Creating Dynamic Shortcuts

Dynamic shortcuts are just a little bit tough however nonetheless very straightforward to implement.

As earlier than talked about, you’ll want to make use of the ShortcutManager API. It’s a part of the Jetpack Libraries that allows you to handle dynamic shortcuts inside your app. It reduces boilerplate code and, most significantly, ensures that shortcuts behave the identical throughout Android variations.

So as to add the performance which can create a brand new dynamic shortcut, open the ShortcutManagerWrapper.kt file and exchange TODO 3: with these strains of code:

return ShortcutInfoCompat.Builder(context, be
    .setShortLabel(be aware.title)
    .setLongLabel("See ${be aware.title}")
    .setIcon(IconCompat.createWithResource(context, R.drawable.ic_note))
            NotesActivity.createIntent(context).apply { motion = Intent.ACTION_VIEW },
            NoteActivity.createIntent(context, be { motion = Intent.ACTION_VIEW }

Notice: It’s seemingly that you need to make some imports for the code to work.

You’ll be able to see {that a} dynamic shortcut acts the identical because the static one. The distinction is that now you’ve got logic for making the shortcut extra context-sensitive.

To completely allow creating dynamic shortcuts, exchange TODO 4: with these two strains of code:

val shortcut = createShortcutInfo(be aware)
ShortcutManagerCompat.pushDynamicShortcut(context, shortcut)

The strategy pushDynamicShortcut(...) will do:

  1. Examine limitation of the utmost variety of shortcuts.
  2. Put together shortcuts relying on the Android Verson.
  3. Take away shortcut with the bottom rank.
  4. Add a brand new one to the highest of the checklist.

Superior, you’re now able to create your very first dynamic shortcut. Construct and run the app, long-press the created be aware, after which long-press the app icon to point out the shortcuts.

Instructions how to create a Dynamic Shortcut

The subsequent step is enabling updates for the dynamic shortcut you’ve added.

Updating Dynamic Shortcuts

Updating a dynamic shortcut is identical as creating a brand new one.

Within the QuickNotes app, your shortcut will replace once you open an present be aware and modify the content material by urgent the replace motion within the high proper nook.

Subsequent job for you is to implement it so you’ll be able to replace the shortcut when wanted.

Within the ShortcutManagerWrapper.kt file, discover TODO 5: and exchange it with the next:

addNoteShortcut(be aware)

That’s it! Straightforward, proper? 🙂

Attempt to replace your present be aware. Open it from the shortcut you’ve added, replace it and ensure that the app has up to date the be aware. Now go and test the shortcut you beforehand created.

You’ll create one other be aware and the shortcut for it. Shut the app, open the shortcut checklist, and confirm that the bottom-most shortcut is the one you created first.

Creating a second shortcut

Open the primary be aware, change the title, and press replace. Should you test the shortcuts, you’ll see that you simply’ve modified the order. The one that you simply’ve edited is now on the high. Updating the shortcut additionally modifications the shortcut rank.

Update first shortcut to make a change in order

Good job, you’re subsequent step is to delete the shortcut.

Deleting a Dynamic Shortcut

To delete a dynamic shortcut, the very first thing you’ll have to know is that if the shortcut already exists.

Discover TODO 6: and exchange it with the next block of code:

override enjoyable isShortcutCreated(noteId: String): Boolean {
    return ShortcutManagerCompat.getDynamicShortcuts(context)
        .discover { == noteId } != null

Examine if the shortcut with the requested be aware exists within the checklist of dynamic shortcuts.

Because you don’t need your consumer to have the choice to entry a be aware as soon as it will get deleted from the database or service, you’ll have to delete the shortcut too.

Within the ShortcutManagerWrapper.kt discover TODO 7: and exchange it with these strains of code:

ShortcutManagerCompat.removeDynamicShortcuts(context, listOf(noteId))

Nice, a consumer is now in a position to create, replace and delete a dynamic shortcut, go forward and take a look at it. Construct and run the app, and comply with the following steps with a purpose to test that all the pieces works:

  1. Create a brand new be aware.
  2. Create a dynamic hyperlink.
  3. Confirm that it’s created by lengthy urgent on the app icon.
  4. Replace the be aware title.
  5. Confirm that it’s up to date within the shortcut checklist.
  6. Delete the be aware.
  7. Confirm that the shortcut has been deleted from the shortcut checklist.

Congratulations! You’ve applied the dynamic shortcut characteristic! Now, you’re transferring to the final kind of shortcut.

Creating Pinned Shortcuts

There is just one kind of shortcut left to implement. Making a pinned shortcut is just a little bit totally different than the others.

Discover TODO 8: and exchange it with this code snippet:

// 1
if (ShortcutManagerCompat.isRequestPinShortcutSupported(context)) {
    // 2
    val pinShortcutInfo = ShortcutInfoCompat.Builder(context, be
        .setShortLabel(be aware.title)
        .setIcon(IconCompat.createWithResource(context, R.drawable.ic_note))
                NotesActivity.createIntent(context).apply { motion = Intent.ACTION_VIEW },
                NoteActivity.createIntent(context, be { motion = Intent.ACTION_VIEW }
    // 3
    ShortcutManagerCompat.requestPinShortcut(context, pinShortcutInfo, null)

It’s simpler to grasp if it’s damaged down into smaller items:

  1. Confirm that the default launcher helps pinned shortcuts.
  2. Create ShortcutInfo with the brief label, icon and intent which results in
    desired Exercise.
  3. Request a pin shortcut which can set off native dialog with the shortcut data on newer Android variations, or create a shortcut immediately on variations under API 26.

Construct and run the app, long-press the be aware, and create your first Fast Notes pinned shortcut.

Go to the launcher and test if it’s there.

Instructions how to create pinned shortcut

You’re only one press away from the duties you’ll want for that day, purchasing cart, or no matter it’s you need to be aware. 🙂

Congratulations! You’re able to make your app extra accessible for the consumer. Take into consideration an important options you need to present and don’t overlook concerning the restricted variety of shortcuts.

The place to Go From Right here?

You’ll be able to obtain the entire mission by clicking Obtain Supplies on the high or backside of this tutorial.

On this article, you’ve realized easy methods to create several types of app shortcuts and easy methods to use them.

As talked about earlier, you may make your app simpler to entry with Google Assistant. You will discover right here an superior article on easy methods to create Actions for Google Assistant.

We hope you loved this tutorial. You probably have any questions or feedback, please be part of the discussion board dialogue under!


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