Faking 3D Touch on Android

Your home screen is a hyper competitive platform. It’s not enough for app developers to have a place at the table.  They need to reduce all friction between you and their app - more specifically, all of their app.  When the app does many actions this is challenging. App constellations were a first attempt at this - splitting up apps into stricter, directed user experiences - but fizzled out after a burst of apps.

This is why I’m a huge fan of 3D Touch in iOS 9.  Removing a few taps or swipes may seem trivial, but it matters to today’s demanding, fickle consumers.  We don’t tolerate lags or unnecessary actions: our fingers choose the fastest options to perform an action.  3D Touch is underrated for this reason - it enables icons to be fully functional launchers to precise actions a user wants to take.  You can see how much more elegant this is than splitting your app (and your audience). 

As an Android fanboy I recently lamented my feelings, rather ineloquently: 

After that thought marinated a bit, I realized there was a way to do this already.  Android always enabled quick actions and icons for New Note, Compose Email, etc and many apps take advantage of this - Swarm’s Check-In is a great example. The problem is that the icons are unsightly without uniform sizes or styles and you end up with little room on your homepage (the same problem as constellations).  Using Nova Launcher though, you can set quick actions directly on your icons using any Android Activity available in your apps. Since it’s limited to one action, this setup is nowhere near as robust as 3D touch menus but will speed up your most used actions.

Here's how to set it up:

1. Long Press App -> Edit

2. Edit Swipe Action.  This action will be carried out by flicking up on the icon.

3. Select a pre-set action or tap Activities to browse all the public Activities in your apps.

4. Voila!