I suggest you ...

Allow the user to create home screen shortcuts to open chosen feeds/reading lists

It would be really great if you could respond to the ACTION_CREATE_SHORTCUT intent and allow the user to long press on the home screen and create a shortcut to directly open a chosen feed or reading list (i.e. all items menu for any folder). This would be great for one-click access.

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    episode6 shared this idea  ·   ·  Admin →

    5 comments

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      • Adam Stechschulte commented  · 

        I can give another reason for a shortcut. Third party launchers like LauncherPro and ADW allow the user to customize the bottom dock. You can add a shortcut to the dock but not a widget.

      • AdminMariano Kamp (Admin, newsrob) commented  · 

        Hello fellow Android dev. Thanks for the detailed reply.

        1) You're talking about the need to start the NewsRob process? Ok, I can see that, but it might be not totally bad as a NewsRob widget won't have an auto-refresh and every time it will ne notified to do an actual refresh NewsRob is in memory already.
        But I understand, launching the home screen might still suffer.

        2) This would work as well with a focused widget, that will only show the title of the feed/label etc. and the number of unread.

        Do I read this write you can create shortcuts programmatically? Where would they turn up? Or do you mean with small modifications of the folder list activity, that I reuse the database access code?

        3) I don't see why two widgets would be slower than one in practice? When the NewsRob process is in memory it is in memory, and the actual notification and rendering of the result is really not expensive, is it?

        4) sure 1x1.

        Your reasoning make sense to me. So this means to support generation 1 phone users I would need both (widget+short cut) ;-( But I can re-use lots of code from the yet-to-be-created widget creation.

        Yes, sample code would be good. But take your time, this is likely not happening right away ;-) You can wait until this suggestion climbs a bit ;-)

      • episode6 commented  · 

        Btw, I'm an android dev as well and just implemented this feature in "NYC Bus & Subway Maps," so if you'd like, I'd be happy to send you some sample code.

      • episode6 commented  · 

        Hmm, the widget you mentioned would probably suffice for my needs (as long as it's 1x1), but I can give you 3/4 reasons to implement the shortcut as well...

        1) Not all Android phones are created equal. Some (like my G1) are kinda slow and a lot of widgets makes it even worse (no matter how small or simple they are). Shortcuts just load up with the rest of the home screen and don't require their own load or refresh process

        2) User Choice/less clicks to what you want: What I mean here is... some people might want a shortcut to their favorite feed, some people might want a shortcut to their favorite folder, some to "all items." If you made some small modifications to your folder list activity, it would be easy to allow the user to choose exactly which "reading list" they want to create a shortcut to, and you could even allow them the same choice when creating a widget.

        3) Multiple shortcuts: Say sometimes I wanna go straight to my gizmodo feed, but sometimes i wanna go straight to all feeds. I wouldn't want to add 2 1x1 widgets to my home screen (for performance reasons) but I'd have no problem putting two newsrob shortcuts right next to each other.

        4 - possibly) If you're going to make a 1x1 widget with unread count (like handcent) then this point is moot, but if not then reason 4 would be space. All 5 of my homescreens are pretty much full, and while I really like newsrob, it's not important important enough to warrant any widget bigger than 1x1 (those spaces are reserved for work email, calendar, etc).

        Basically it all comes down to choice. If you're gonna let the widget have an option of which "reading list" to open, why not standardize that feature and implement the CREATE_SHORTCUT action as well so us poor souls with slower phones don't have to load a widget all the time?

        ...but maybe that's just me :)

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