What's the big deal with app shortcuts on the Google Pixel and Android 7.1?

App shortcuts are one of the best new features in Android 7.1, and right now they're only available on the Pixel.

What are they? By holding down on a compatible app icon the home screen or app drawer of a compatible launcher (currently that's just the Pixel Launcher), you can access pre-defined shortcuts, and create new icons from those shortcuts. Want to quickly pull up the navigation directions to home from where you are? Do that from the Google Maps icon. Want to quickly check for app updates on the Play Store? You can do that, too! Here's how.

How to use app shortcuts

How to quickly take action from the home screen using app shortcuts

  1. On the home screen or app drawer, hold down on an app.
  2. Tap on an action.

How to create a new action icon from an app shortcut

  1. On the home screen or app drawer, hold down on an app.
  2. Hold down on an action.
  3. Drag new icon to an unused place on the home screen.
  4. Tap on icon to perform action.

See it in motion

Want to see how app shortcuts work in motion? Here's the scoop — in video form!

Your turn

What do you think of app shortcuts? And which ones are you finding the most useful? Let us know!