Create Shortcut Buttons With the Google Action Blocks Android App

We all use our phones for a multitude of mundane tasks that require several steps to complete. For example, if you’re going to video chat with a family member, you might have to find the video app on your phone, tap it to open it, and then scroll through your contacts to find the person you want to talk to.

For most of us, all of this can happen pretty quickly, but for people with cognitive impairment or age-related cognitive impairment, remembering all of these steps – even just three of them – can be challenging. And for people with disabilities, doing three taps on the touchscreen is essentially a process that is three times more difficult.

Google launched Action Blocks for Android this week to make simple tasks easier for those who need it. With an app made by Google, Android users can create custom buttons on the home screen to trigger a specific action of their choice.

Once installed, these shortcuts will be able to handle all three phases of the above video chat equation or whatever, making day-to-day tasks easier for those who might have difficulty with the traditional process.

Buttons can be created for any action that the Google Assistant would normally do. This means it works for things like taking a selfie, sending a text, making a video call, or even controlling smart home equipment like a connected thermostat.

The app itself is easy to understand and has shortcuts on the first page to help you effectively configure buttons for common actions. For more complex processes, Create Custom Action helps you customize the button to make this happen; On-screen instructions can help you set up almost any shortcut in seconds.

It’s worth noting that since Google Assistant can handle all of the same tasks, it might be worth teaching the person on whose phone you add these buttons how to use them. However, action blocks can be a powerful tool to make common tasks easier for anyone who needs more help.

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