Android has supported app shortcuts since 2016, but some popular apps still haven't implemented the feature yet. We found evidence that Instagram was about to change that in October 2019, though it took the company until now to finally roll out shortcuts widely. Most people should now be able to tap and hold the Instagram icon on their home screen to quickly access the camera, create a new post, view their activity, and open direct messages. Additionally, Instagram has quietly reworked the Stories archive, which is now organized in three sections.
Chrome 84 entered beta just a few weeks ago, but it's already rolling out on the stable channel across all platforms. This is one of the most significant Chrome updates we've seen in a while, with a few removed features and new functionality for both regular people and developers. Let's dive right in!
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With over a decade under its belt, Android has built a long history as Google's mobile operating system. And in that history are dozens of little features, changes, and updates that have added, removed, or modified aspects of that OS in subtle and not-so-subtle ways. But for every new option Google brings to Android, we're probably forgetting one that been in there for years that we've simply not bothered to use in a while. And in some cases, these are pretty genuinely useful things!
Remember you can use two fingers to swipe down for quick settings? Screen pinning? Lock screen messages?
Android added support for app shortcuts back in late 2016 with Android 7.1 Nougat, and depending on your habits, they're either some of the most important things on your home screen or they've gone completely unused. For the former, they offer faster and more precise use of your apps, saving you from wading through pesky navigation drawers or getting caught up in a news feed. Instagram may be a little late to the party, but app shortcuts are starting to show up on the Android app for a few lucky users.
One of the many reasons I don't like iOS is its lack of an app drawer. Indeed, I want things to be very organized, and dumping all icons on my homescreen just doesn't work for me. Xiaomi, however, preferred to mimic Apple and decided to go against Android standards by removing the app drawer in its MIUI launcher, which essentially meant all icons had to be on the home screen. However, the company appears to be opening up by letting users enable the drawer in MIUI.
Xiaomi has introduced a system-wide dark mode in version 10 of its MIUI software, but the company is still in the process of darkening all its apps, including non-system ones. The latest app to receive that treatment is the Mi File Manager, but that's not the only change in its most recent update.
Google Play Games is officially going dark. Well, the latest update is making its dark theme accessible to everyone. But that's not the only thing this update brings, there are now app shortcuts and a new sorting feature for achievements coming soon. A teardown also shows the team is preparing to add Minesweeper to the built-in games repertoire. Oh, and we're heard from the dev team, and we've got a hunch they're having a good time.
Chrome 70 was released on desktop platforms and Android earlier this month. Now it's time for Chromebooks to get the update, with a few added enhancements — like a new UI geared at tablet use and support for Android app shortcuts.
If you've got a Chase account, you may have noticed quite a few changes to the Android app within the past few days. Those include an adaptive icon, app shortcuts, and an updated interface with a lot more functionality.
Google has worked to make Android apps feel at home on Chrome OS, and we've certainly come a long way. Your apps will be even more integrated soon with support for app shortcuts on the Chrome OS desktop. This feature is only in the dev channel right now, but it should eventually filter down to beta and stable.