Twitter is testing out app shortcuts and multi-window support with Android app

Android 7.1 launched on the Pixel and as a Developer Preview a little over a week ago. Since then, several third-party apps have already been updated to support the latest system features. Most notably Action Launcher and Nova Launcher are kind of duking it out to see which adds more Pixel features first. Twitter for Android is the latest among the most notable, with shortcuts and a circular app icon already in testing on the latest alpha build. This build also enables multi-window for devices running Android 7.0+ Nougat.

If you’re using Action Launcher or Nova Launcher on devices running Android 5.0+ you still get these app shortcuts just as you would on a device running Android 7.0+.


On these devices running, tapping and holding on Twitter from the homescreen or app drawer reveals three shortcuts: New Message, New Tweet, and Search (Action Launcher users will need to swipe up or down instead). The shortcut names are pretty self-explanatory I believe.

The first opens up a pane that allows you to start a new DM thread, while the second opens up the usual compose screen. Search is not the most obvious candidate for a shortcut and one that immediately takes users to the Notifications stream might be more useful. As with all app shortcuts, they can be put on the home screen by long-pressing and dragging them over. These may come in handy for those of you heavy tweeters.

On the Pixel and Pixel XL, this Twitter alpha moves from a square to a rounded icon, for others, it’s still the square icon as before but there are a number of icon packs on the Playstore if you want that circular icon.

As already mentioned, this build also brings support for Android Nougat’s multi-window which was a curious omission from previous builds considering the Twitter app had support for Samsung’s multi-window. Compared to the regular app or even the beta, the alpha build of Twitter is still usable, but more prone to bugs and crashing. Additionally, there is a persistent bug reporter in the notification drawer whenever the app is in the foreground.

If you want to download this update from the Play Store, unless you’re already in Twitter’s alpha program, you can’t – officially. So either join Twitter’s  alpha program, or you can get the 32-bit or 64-bit APK from APKMirror depending upon your device.





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