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Launcher: how to save time with custom shortcuts

The Today View in iOS is pretty powerful and allows you to launch apps, search for contacts, see a summary of the news and call your favorite contacts. But it’s got plenty of limitations. For example, the app launcher relies on Siri to suggest which apps should be displayed, and can’t handle more complex interactions or shortcuts. 

Launcher, on the other hand, allows to you to create your own sets of apps that can be launched at the tap of a button (providing they support launching via a third-party app). You can do all the things that Today View allows, but you can also go deeper – sending canned emails straight from Launcher, or running a workflow you’ve created. Here’s how to use it.

Launcher app set up

1. Set up Launcher

Once you’ve downloaded Launcher, tap it and then tap Let’s Do This. Tap through the next couple of screens to give it permission to access your Contacts and set up the first set of Launchers.

Launcher app add to Today View

2. Add Launcher widgets to Today View

Swipe down from the top of the screen to open the notifications view. Then swipe right to see the current list of widgets. (Alternatively, you can swipe right straight from the lock screen.) Scroll to the bottom, tap Edit then locate the Launcher widgets in the list and tap the green ‘+’ next to them.

Launcher app edit widgets

3. Edit the default Launcher list

Open the Launcher app and tap Done. Press the pen and paper icon in the top corner and tap the ‘x’ next to any items you don’t want. Tap Add New to add a new item.

Launcher app message someone 2

4. Add a launcher to message a friend

Next, tap Contact Launcher. Choose Message Someone, then tap Message Someone again. Tap the contacts book icon and choose a contact from the list. Tap message then choose the type of message you want to send. Tap the tick at the top right of the screen.

Launcher app directions

5. Add a launcher to provide directions from your current location

In the main screen, tap the pen and paper and then tap Add New. Tap App Launcher, scroll down and tap Maps. Choose Get Directions. Leave Start Address blank and tap Dest Address. Type in the box to search for the address. Or tap the Contacts book for an address of a contact. Tap Transportation Mode and then choose one. Tap the tick at the top right of the screen.