Sponsored App Review: App Shortcut Maker

App Shortcut Maker is an Android app that makes it super-easy to further extend the usefulness of your Android home screen. It does this by giving users the power to make a shortcut of any app, any Android shortcut, or any Android activity. Users can then apply these shortcuts to their home screens and make the icon whatever they choose, whether that's an icon from an installed icon pack or by creating their own using a simple shape. App Shortcut Maker is primarily designed to make Android that little bit more useful, by making it easier to access your favorite apps or activities.

Just like all other Android apps, it's best to download App Shortcut Maker from the Play Store. Once installed and opened, the Developers have put together an interactive splash page with cards.

These cards explain how to use the app and just what App Shortcut Maker is all about, and they do a pretty great job of introducing users to the way it all works.

It's important to remember that App Shortcut Maker can only really do what Android allows it to, but that doesn't mean that the Developers haven't managed to squeeze out some extra functionality. Once users have gotten past the charming introduction, App Shortcut Maker will show users all of the installed apps on their device.

As well as "All Activities" that are present on your particular Android phone. These should be fairly similar for most Android users, but they should only be approached by more tech-savvy users for the most part.

On top of this, App Shortcut Maker also features another column dubbed "Shortcuts", which might seem confusing to some users, but this is simply a list of the shortcuts that your device already has built-in. What App Shortcut Maker does with them, which is very helpful, is makes them easily-accessible and transferrable to your homescreen.

One of the main attractions of an app like this will be to rename and change the look of an app and how it appears on your home screen. In my case, I wanted to add a shortcut to the app of my local Taxi firm, "A2B Cars" is fairly straightforward, but with App Shortcut Maker, I can simply just make a shortcut called "Taxi".

I can also either choose from an installed icon pack or create a shape that will use the existing icon as a design for the end shortcut. I did wish that I could use emoji here as icons for these shortcuts, as a Taxi emoji would be pretty easy to find even when I've had a few too many to drink.

This is a pretty simple example of what App Shortcut Maker can be used for, but I did manage to find some pretty advanced uses here, too. For instance, I stumbled across the WhatsApp Camera shortcut here, and I was able to create a simple shortcut with an icon of my choice to launch this activity, take a photo, and then choose who to send it to. This is perfect for someone like myself who is always sharing photos via WhatsApp.

Another common use is probably going to be making shortcuts of your favorite contacts, and App Shortcut Maker works really well for that as well. Let's say I want to make a contact shortcut for my Dad, who now has the cats to himself, I can choose a picture of the cats from my gallery instead of just the original contact photo I had applied for him.

App Shortcut Maker does a little more than that however, and when users are choosing a certain app to create a shortcut of, they can launch the app there and then, get access to the app's info on the phone and more. All of which are handy pieces of information to know and get access to. There's also a fairly simple settings menu to access as well.

App Shortcut Maker is not an entirely free app, and while some of the ads can be quite annoying, it's easy enough - and affordable enough - to simply remove ads with one simple in-app purchase.

For someone like myself, who doesn't want to keep many app icons on my home screen, I found that App Shortcut Maker could be a double-edged sword. On the one hand it makes it super-easy to create your own home screen shortcuts of practically whatever you want, but on the other it might lead to a lot more icons on your home screen. Even so, App Shortcut Maker makes it easy to change the name and look of individual app icons on your home screen without changing the look of everything. This is something that a lot of users want to do and the extra shortcuts available here give users a lot of flexibility in what they want to do.

Ratings

  • Speed (4/5) - Everything runs nice and smoothly here, without any sort of hiccups or slowdowns; it all runs well.
  • Theme (4/5) - This is definitely an app that has been developed to a high level of polish. The UI here is gorgeous and is part of the overall charm. Not to mention how easy and straightforward it all is to use.
  • Features (4/5) - This is the sort of app that will have its specific audience, and while App Shortcut Maker is missing a few key features here and there, it does a lot more than other similar apps come even close to doing.
  • Overall (4/5) - A solid option to make your home screen more customizable and to help tailor Android further to your overall liking.

Pros

  • Simple and straightforward to use, without the need to jump through hoops or anything like that.
  • Makes it nice and easy to quickly access contacts, load up other activities or just launch apps with a better icon.
  • Allows users the option to choose their own specific icon or to create their own of sorts with the use of the shapes options.
  • Gives players lots of choices and options to take control the way that they want to.

Cons

  • Doesn't have an option to create shortcuts that load up specific websites or anything like that.
  • Might only appeal to those that are looking for more customization options rather than functionality options.

All-in-all, App Shortcut Maker certainly has a lot on offer and it's the sort of thing that will appeal to users that want to make the most out of their home screens and such. Being able to choose from your own images as well as create your own icons using the shapes provided is great, and it will definitely make Android more customizable and malleable for a lot of users. It's really affordable to unlock ads for as well, which is another great feature, too.

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