Journal for Developers

Introducing Shortcuts and widgets API in #Android O

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2 min read

Why Use Shortcuts and Widgets in Android?


One of the favorite features in Android O is the ability to pin shortcuts and widgets for your app onto the launcher through deep linking.

Shortcuts, a smart way to quickly start a specific task, while Widgets give users instant access to specific actions and information of the app. Shortcuts and Widgets are a way for users who want to get things done and get things done fast. They also help to increase user engagement with the app content.

To pin a shortcut or widget, users long press the app’s icon for options and drag and drop the selected item to a location of their choice.

Dynamic/Static Shortcuts
Dynamic/Static Shortcuts
Image Courtesy: Android Developers Blog
Pinned Shortcuts
Pinned Shortcuts
Image Courtesy: Android Developers Blog

Adding Shortcuts and Widgets from within your app

Image Courtesy: Android Developers Blog

The new API from Android O has a new flow for adding shortcuts and widgets from within the app. The new method uses a modal dialog, deprecating the old method of using a broadcast, which will not work on O devices.

The team of Android O has also made some more improvements to the user interface and experience for shortcuts and widgets. In the old experience, the app icon on the shortcuts was missing, this makes the users confused or should we say that they have no idea about the type of app that shortcut was from. So, they have introduced the marking of the shortcuts with the app icon, hence providing a better branding while protecting the users from potential malware.

Old Shortcuts
Image Courtesy: Android Developers Blog
New Shortcut
Image Courtesy: Android Developers Blog

 

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