What’s new for shortcuts and widgets in Android O

Posted by Gloria Liou, Associate Product Manager Intern


Why use shortcuts and widgets?


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

Shortcuts let users quickly start a specific task, while widgets give users instant access to specific actions and information from your app. Users want to get things done, and get things done fast – shortcuts and widgets are a way to help them and to increase user engagement with your content.

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

Dynamic / static shortcuts
Pinned shortcuts






Adding shortcuts and widgets from within your app



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

That’s not all. We’ve made improvements to the user interface and experience. In the old experience, there was no app icon on the shortcut, so users had no idea which app the shortcut was from. Marking shortcuts with the app icon provides better branding while protecting users from potential malware.

Old shortcut
New shortcut

There is also a new option to add a specialized activity to help users create shortcuts. The activity is complete with custom options and confirmation.

With these new additions and improvements, users will be more likely to use your shortcuts and widgets, leading to more meaningful and impactful engagement with your app and happier, more productive users.

To learn more, head over to the shortcuts and widgets page on the Android Developers website.


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