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Android N's Launcher Shortcuts are getting the ax, won't be in the final release

Android N the Launcher Preview feature is getting the ax with the next version of the Android N preview, and isn't expected to return until a future (non-N) Android release.

Published onMay 19, 2016

Android N logo AA

When Android N Preview 2 touched down in late April it brought Vulkan support, Emoji 9 support, bug fixes, and lastly the ability to create app shortcuts based on gestures. The new Launcher Shortcuts were easily one of preview 2’s most exciting additions. Tapping an app icon on the homescreen would launch it but doing things like swiping it or long pressing it might perform a very specific action, as defined by the app developer. But now, before it even hits any apps, it’s already going away.

According to the latest Android N Support and Release Notes, Google is axing Launcher Shortcuts from N. As Google puts it, “We’ve decided to defer this feature to a future release of Android.” That means it isn’t gone forever, but won’t be arriving with the final version of Android N. The reason for the decision is unknown, though it’s likely Google just felt the feature wasn’t fully ready for primetime just yet.

Keep in mind that the Launcher Shortcuts API is actually still present in the new “beta-quality” build of Android N that Google released yesterday, but Google says that the API will be removed starting with the next public Android N preview.

What do you think of this news, were the Launcher Shortcuts something you were personally looking forward to or not?

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