The Google app is now offering users the option to create shortcuts to certain quick access categories which can then be positioned on the home screen of the device. At present it seems as though Eat & Drink, Entertainment, and Sports are the categories that this mainly applies to, although that may differ from person to person.
The feature seems to have gone live with the latest version of the Google app (version 7.11) while those who use the Google (Beta) app should have access to the feature providing they are running version 7.12. Finding the new shortcut options is as simple as clicking on a relevant category (Eat & Drink, Entertainment, Sports) where a card should appear asking the user if they would like to add a shortcut to their home screen for that category. If the ‘Add’ tab is clicked, the shortcut is created and the user is then able to position it wherever they like. As these are shortcuts on the home screen, they can also then be added to folders, grouped together, or deleted as and when desired.
However, it is worth mentioning that while the shortcuts are showing up when a category is selected they are not necessarily all showing up in the same place. For example, the Eat & Drink and Entertainment ‘add’ cards appear at the top of the Eat & Drink and Entertainment pages, while the Sports ‘add’ option appears right at the bottom of the page. It is not currently clear why this is the case (could be as simple as Google’s way of testing which position works better) but it does mean that you might have to scroll through the entire page on any of the categories before you are presented with the option to add a shortcut, if the option is presented at all. As mentioned, not all categories are currently showing the option to add a shortcut, and it is unclear whether everyone who is on the most recent versions of the Google and Beta apps is seeing the shortcut option in the first place. In either case, for those who are seeing it and do often visit any of the supported categories, it does make for a quick way to launch the page without having to go through the Google app. For example, having the Eat & Drink’ shortcut on your home screen means you are always just one click away from seeing where you can eat and drink nearby, regardless of where you are.