Tutorial : Webpage shortcuts and managing homescreens

homescreenSomething that we often do on our PCs is to put frequently-used shortcuts to webpages on the desktop. It is often quicker to go straight to a web page this way rather than using the favourites or bookmarks function of the web browser. But, how to do this on your tablet or phone?

If you use Google Chrome – and honestly it really is the easiest and best browser in my opinion – the task is simple. Just open Chrome, find the page or site you want to create a shortcut for then tap the menu to the right (the three vertical dots to the far right of the toolbar) then tap ‘Add to homescreen’. A box will then appear where you can give the shortcut a title rather than the entire web address – just start typing over the highlighted address to do this, then tap ‘Add’.

Another way, if you use a different browser than Chrome, is to first, open your browser and find, then bookmark the website you want to add a shortcut for. Then get back to the homescreen where you want to make the shortcut. Now tap and hold on the homescreen in a blank part of the screen and choose ‘Widgets’ from the choices shown. Look for the ‘Bookmarks’ widget then tap, hold and drag this to the homescreen. After you do this, the choose a bookmark screen will appear – find the bookmark you have already saved and it will be copied to the homescreen.

Other device browsers should have a method to add a shortcut to a homescreen, just look through the menu options to find it.

While we are talking about homescreens – did you know that you can easily rearrange the icons on the screens to suit you? A simple tap, hold and drag will let you move them on the same screen – or keep your finger on an icon and drag it to the left or right to another homescreen if you want. Tap and hold and look (usually above) for the ‘Remove’ area which will appear when you do this – then drag it over the word ‘Remove’ to delete it from the homescreen. Note that this won’t uninstall the app, just remove the shortcut from the screen.

Finally, did you know that you can also group similar apps together and access them from a single icon to ‘de-clutter’ your screen. It’s often easier to move all the apps onto the same homescreen first, then tap and hold one of them and carefully tap, hold and drag it over the top of one of the other app you want to group together. This takes a little practice to master but persevere if you find the app below skoots out of the way! You have it in the correct place when the icon below has a ‘halo’ around it (at least it does in the latest versions). Just remove your finger and you should now see a ‘composite’ icon made up of the two icons. Tap it and you will now see the two apps side by side with the words ‘Unnamed folder’ beneath. Tap the words and rename it to suit – say something like ‘Games’ or ‘Web pages’. You can easily remove a shortcut from a group by tapping and dragging it out of the group box.

Android makes it easy to get your device just the way you want it so don’t be afraid to set it up the way you want it.



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About the Author : Andy describes himself as "an older geek" and has been assisting seniors with understanding technology for many years. He is involved with his local seniors computer club and believes that seniors appreciate assistance from those of a similar age group.

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Thanks, Andy
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