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Android 4.0 Home Screen Browser Shortcuts

There are many logical reasons for browser shortcuts; convenience, efficiency, etc. or, in my case–somewhat less logically–annoyance. Due to a sensitivity (paranoia?) to permissions required by Android apps [1], I decided that the most recent Facebook for Android app finally asked for one too many annoying and meddlesome permissions, when it required the ability to record audio and take pictures and videos.


Fortunately, when app permissions change, those installed through the Android Market (Google play) generally must be updated manually, thus informing users of the changes (displayed below in the Manual updates category).


In addition to the intrusive permissions requests, the Facebook app loaded slower than any other app on my phone and, occasionally wouldn’t load at all.

One solution to both problems (the one I chose) is to uninstall the app and access Facebook through the mobile browser. It’s a solution that may not work for everyone, since the app probably offers features that interacting with Facebook through the browser does not.

As a frequent visitor to Facebook, I still wanted quick access. For that, as I’d switched from the stock Android browser to Dolphin [2], it was just a matter of adding a new button to the home page (below), although a home screen shortcut could also have been added.


Since not everyone uses Dolphin, the instructions below describe how to add a shortcut to the home screen from the stock browser in Android 4.0. Different Android versions will likely require a different set of directions.

First, go to the selected site, tap the menu button, and select Save to bookmarks.


Here, you can add whatever label you’d like to apply. Then, press the Bookmarks button.


Select Home screen from the menu…


…and the shortcut will then be within easy reach.


In spite of Facebook app claims of a quick load, since switching to browser access, load time has decreased significantly–a win-win. So, whether you have a weird fixation with app permissions (like certain unnamed people), or you just want quick access to a favorite website from your Android device, creating a home screen shortcut can help.