The December security patch rolled out earlier this week to first-gen Pixels, as well as the Pixel 2, 3, and 3a. With it, came a lot of features for Google's older flagships like Live Caption, Styles, gesture navigation in third-party launchers, and a swipe gesture for notifications on the homescreen. There's also one minor but nice improvement that came with the launcher: app shortcuts get a similar action panel to regular apps.

If you have a Pixel on the December patch, tap and hold on any launcher app shortcut on your homescreen. By that we don't mean regular app icons, but shortcuts created through an app. Examples include Chrome bookmarks, Play Store's my apps section, YouTube's subscriptions, Calendar's new event, etc...

You should see the options panel with Pause app, Widgets, and App info. So even if you've replaced YouTube with the subscriptions shortcut, or the Play Store with the shortcuts to your apps, you still get to perform a few actions right from the icon on your homescreen. Going to app info and pausing the app are the two most useful additions here.

Left: Tap-and-hold on an app shortcut on Pixel Launcher, November patch. Right: December patch.

On the November patch and below, the Pixel Launcher didn't do this. It let you move the shortcut or delete it, and that's it. This is the case with my Pixel 4, which is still on last month's patch and isn't expected to get the December update until next week.

There's no sideloadable version of the Pixel Launcher or Google app to trigger this change if you're using the Pixel 4. It's still v10 of the app, but something about the December patch adds this feature. It's only a few days of wait until we get it, though.

Pixel Launcher
Pixel Launcher
Developer: Google LLC
Price: Free
  • Thanks:
  • Sergey Lipman