Speed up your phone by creating shortcuts from menus

Does it seem slow to access features on your Android device? One way to speed up your phone is to create shortcuts to go straight to the features and functions you need the most. Here’s how.

One reason why a phone seems slow is because it can take too much time, effort and tapping to get tasks done. For example, if you want to create a new calendar event in the Outlook app, you must tap the Outlook icon on the phone’s home screen, wait for the app to open, find and open the calendar, which is not the default view (email is), then find and press the button to create a new event.

What if you could have a New Event button on the home screen of your phone? One tap and you are right in the event editor. That speeds up the process and it is a lot easier than the standard method. Here is how to create and use shortcuts on an Android phone.

I will be using an old mid-range Samsung phone, but it is fairly up to date with One UI, the Samsung interface, and it has Android 12. The method should work on any recent Samsung phone. Others makes may or may not have this feature.

Long press apps for a menu

Here is the home screen. I hid most of the other app icons just to make it a bit clearer.

Create shortcuts from app menus on an Android phone.
Create shortcuts from app menus

Press and hold on any app icon until a menu appears. The contents of the menu depends on the app and the one I am using here is Outlook, but you should try all your apps and see what appears when you press and hold them.

The Outlook menu has several useful options and it enables you to create a new email, create a new event, view your calendar and more.

The menu that appears when you press and hold on an app icon is fairly well known, but how often do you use it? If you are like me, probably never, even though I know it is there. Pressing and holding is just too slow and requires too much effort.

Drag menus to the home screen

Did you know that you can press and drag a menu item off the menu and drop it on the home screen? Press, hold and then drag New email, New event, and View calendar off the menu and drop them to create icons.

Samsung app shortcuts created from menus.
Samsung app shortcut icons

Here you can see that I have the original Outlook icon, plus three new ones. I can now create a new email or new calendar event, or view my calendar with one tap.

Of course, I can go through the Outlook app, but these icons are so quick and easy to use, you will find you use them much more.

Create shortcuts for Google Keep notes

Each app has a different menu and some apps offer more than others. Here I pressed the Google Keep icon until the menu appeared.

Samsung app menu
Samsung app menu

It has useful options to create a new text note, a new list, a new photo note or a new audio note. Do I ever use this menu? No.It is too much hassle. However, If you press and hold on a menu, they can be dragged off and dropped on the home screen. Try it and see.

New Google Keep shortcuts

Here I have the orginal Google Keep icon, plus icons for New list, New photo note, and new audio note.

Samsung app shortcut icons.
Samsung app shortcut icons

It is much easier and quicker to tap one of these icons to create a note that you will find that you use them much more. Just tap New audio note and speak, for example, with no need to go through menus to find the feature.

Create Clock menus

Here is one more example. Here is a clock in the app tray at the bottom of the screen. Pressing and holding shows a menu with useful shortcuts. Press a menu, hold, and then drag it off to create an icon.

Samsung app shortcuts
Samsung app shortcuts

This is very useful and if you create a Start stopwatch icon or Create new timer icon, you can start it with a tap instead of hunting for the feature in the app.

There are many more useful icons you can create to access features and functions in apps on your phone. They make accessing them faster and easier. Explore your apps and see what useful icons you can create.

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