Android App Shortcuts Coming to Chrome OS

Based on a new Chrome OS commit in the Chromium Gerrit, and further support from Chrome OS evangelist François BeaufortAndroid App Shortcut support is coming to the platform and likely soon.  The commit points to right-click support for Android apps in the platform to allow for users to access the app shortcuts for apps that support the feature.

For those who may not know, Android app shortcuts allow you to get to a quick action within an app simply by long tapping it on your Android phone or tablet.  The feature became available in Android Nougat 7.1 but really didn’t start to gain traction until Oreo was released last year.

Here is what an app shortcut looks like on Android if you aren’t familiar with them.

Android Oreo App Shortcuts
Android Oreo App Shortcuts

From a Chrome OS perspective, this is a great new feature and it really makes the platform even more Android friendly.  But in the same stroke, it makes it more user friendly too.

Based on the text of the commit, it looks like it will work exactly the same on a Chromebook and Android meaning that they will provide either static information or dynamic information based on what that app does for you.   The assumption is that this is going to work with a right-click motion on your Chromebook to access the menu – essentially behaving like the long tap of an app on your phone.

Perhaps the best news in all of this is that it doesn’t look like it will be before all users see this feature.  Right now, there is a flag that has been enabled in the Chrome OS Dev channel.  That flag is chrome://flags/#enable-touchable-app-context-menu.

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