Launcher app shortcuts allow quick access to deeper app functions and those neat little white card bubbles (that just look so awesome if you ask me even if I end up not using them a lot) are currently restricted to Android 7.1 on the Pixel phones and dev previews. As for the rest, Action Launcher already implemented this last month in its latest beta, and now the latest Nova Launcher beta is following suit.
Version 5.0, which is still in beta has been adding tidbits from the Pixel Launcher for a while now and app shortcuts is the latest to be incorporated in possibly the most popular Android launcher.
In a post on Google+, Kevin Barry, the developer says that at least some of these Android 7.1 app shortcuts will be available on Nova even on devices running Android 5.1 or 6.0. and I can confirm that they do, at least on Marshmallow. These screenshots are from a Sony Xperia running Android 6.0 Marshmallow. It might take a while to see third-party apps actually take advantage of this functionality – some Google apps support it already.
Beta testers who also have Android 7.1 Nougat installed are supposed to have support for the operating system’s new app shortcuts feature. According to Droid Life, the new apps shortcut feature for the Nova Launcher beta does not work on Google’s new Pixel phones, but apparently does work for other phones that have Android 7.1 installed.
There’s also a new cosmetic option: the standard Google search bar that’s enabled on the homescreen by default can now include an integrated weather view. Neat. Hopefully there will be an option to switch the unit to Celsius in the future, as of now it only displays Fahrenheits. Neither one of the new features requires the paid unlock to use.
Keep in mind this is a beta and that means bugs will be found and, hopefully, squashed before the final version is released.