Android phones are easy to use and well designed, and because smartphone manufacturers can use the system as well, you can find a diverse range of Android phones on the market. While the system itself is relatively user friendly, there are always ways to improve your experience. One of those ways is through utilizing Android shortcuts.
You can use Android shortcuts to accomplish many different tasks, from mastering widgets to properly using Quick Settings. Let's explore these shortcuts and a few of our favorite ways to use them.
Tweaking the home screen
Use the home screen to store apps you use the most, as well as a few widgets for quick and easy access.
Widgets for Android
"Widgets" are pieces of information you can save on your home screen to see at a glance. They can also serve as quick links to specific controls. For example, some smart home apps may have a widget to turn on or off certain devices. Banking apps might use widgets to allow account holders to see their balances. To add a widget, follow these simple steps:
- Hold down on the home screen.
- Select “Widgets” and scroll through the available widgets.
- When you find one you like, hold down on the icon and drag it wherever you want.
Android app shortcuts allow you to supercharge your home screen. Access these functions by holding down an app icon on the home screen. The Maps app, for example, allows you to navigate to "home" without having to enter the app and type in the address.
Quick Settings are a great way to change the settings on your Android device, and you may be surprised by how powerful they are. To access Quick Settings, swipe down from the top of the home screen, then swipe down again.
Use Quick Settings to jump into comprehensive settings by holding down on the different options. You can also use Quick Settings to turn WiFi and Bluetooth on and off quickly and easily.
- To access the full Bluetooth settings, hold down the Bluetooth icon. Use these settings to connect, disconnect, and manage devices.
- If you hold down the WiFi icon, you’ll be able to connect to a new WiFi network.
You can also edit your Quick Settings to make it easier to access the settings you use the most. To modify these settings, open the Quick Settings drawer, then tap on the pencil icon in the bottom left of the screen. From there you can rearrange your Quick Settings.
Android shortcuts allow you to perform many useful functions on your smartphone. Here are a few ways to incorporate Android shortcuts into your everyday smartphone use:
- Toggle between apps. To perform this shortcut, press the home button and slide it to the right. Keep in mind this only works if you're running Android 9.0 Pie with Google's more recent gesture-based control system, rather than the classic three Android controls. If you're still using the older control buttons, you can quickly move between apps by double-tapping on the square multitasking button.
- Take screenshots. To capture an image of whatever your screen is currently displaying, hold down on the power button and volume down button at the same time.
- Access your camera. Instead of having to unlock your phone and then navigate to the camera app, double-tap the power button to access the camera. This shortcut may not work on all Android phones, but it will work on recent Galaxy phones, Pixel phones, and many HTC phones.
- Access Google Assistant.
Android's default digital assistant can help you access information or troubleshoot problems. To access the Google Assistant shortcut, hold down on the home button at the bottom of the screen.