Shortcuts are more important than widgets.


I see people always talk whether widgets are a good thing or not, whether live tiles are better, whether iOS/windows phone should have them etc etc. What people don't seem to talk about is something called shortcuts which Android has been exclusively doing for a long time now. As far as I am concerned if a mobile OS can't do shortcuts then it just plain sucks.

Something about shortcuts firstly. They are "just an icon" and wont make your home screen look inconsistent. You can even change the icon of a shortcut unlike a widget. Its basically a bookmark for an app or activity where it jumps you straight into something specific. A good example of this would be the tapatalk app, you can make shortcuts for all the different forums you visit and then jump straight into whichever forum you want to go to without having to open the app first which you will have to do in iOS/windows phone. Then there is this unified remote app which lets me control my PC with my phone. However I can place shortcuts for various windows programs and can jump directly into controlling them instead of opening the app itself. I can also place shortcuts for system settings. I like to go into the battery stats quite often so I placed a shortcut that takes me right there.

I can make a shortcut for maps as well where I'll have instant one click access to a particular journey. I can make shortcut for a particular folder in dropbox/drive etc. The possibilities are endless really.

Another function is performing things at the touch of an icon. I can trigger dropbox camera sync at the touch of a shortcut without leaving my home screen and immediately getting back to what I was doing. I can change my wallpaper without leaving the home screen again thanks to shortcuts.

Now I know iOS/windows phone apologists are gonna say its not a big deal blah blah. Imagine if Android didn't support home screen bookmarks for the browser? iOS/windows phone not allowing app/activity shortcuts is kinda like that.

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