With Android 7.1 being released with the Pixel, Google launched many new features, amongst them is App shortcuts. It turns out these are actually really useful, and thanks to the awesomeness of apps like Nova Launcher and Action Launcher even those who don’t have Pixel Launcher, ie everyone who doesn’t have a Pixel, you can access those same shortcuts on many devices.
The new feature wouldn’t be a lot of use without apps supporting it, and thankfully many apps are bringing that support online, including a growing number of Google’s first party apps. One such app’s update has actually “revolutionised” my app experience, Android Pay. I wrote a few weeks ago about what the ongoing usability experience of Android Pay was like, and in that we discussed the minor inconvenience of having multiple payment cards configured. App shortcuts for Android Pay are here to fix that, mostly.
If you long press on the Android Pay icon you are presented with a list of the currently activated payment methods for your cards, you can then simply press one of those to launch into that cards “payment screen”. Once there you are good to pay. This removes one step from the process, where previously you had to tap to load the app and then select the correct card, but it actually saves more time than that would suggest.
By far the longest delay/ lag in that old process was waiting for the app to load up, by putting the card selection before that load sequence it feels lightning fast, even though the app still takes a second or two to load, the difference is you’re not waiting that second or two for another interaction. It’s actually clever UI design, and I like it.
Of course being an app shortcut you can also drag it out onto the desktop as a standalone “app” meaning you could maybe have your second most used card on your dock for simple one tap payment between your 2 most used cards?.
The only thing missing I can think of is the ability to give your cards a nickname. If I was to load all of my Credit Cards and in the future Debit cards into the app it wouldn’t take long for me to lose track of which card was which. Of course, perhaps I have too many cards.
Download the app below if you don’t have it and can use it:
If you use Android Pay and you’ve got more than one payment cards then perhaps this may be a good solution for you as well.