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I am trying to cerate a simple icon on my Android tablet to launch, say, the browser, with a specific URL. Under Windows, this is simply creating a shortcut. Under Ubuntu, this is just creating a .desktop file with a couple of parameters, including the actual command line to execute. But I cannot seemto be able to do this under Android, and although I don't mind command line on a desktop computer, this is not a viable option under Android.

Can this be done with the stock launcher that comes with Android, or should I use a special one. I registered a couple of those.

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Sure it can be done. I never used this feature, so I'm not sure whether there's an option for "a simple icon", but you should take a look at the "bookmark widget":

First, start your browser and create a bookmark for the page you want to link to. Second, go to your homescreen, long-tap on a free space (where you want the link to be), select "widgets", and then watch out for the "Bookmark widget". Tap it, select your bookmark, et voila! there should be a shortcut on your homescreen.

Alternative to the second step: while still in your browser, go to "bookmarks", long-tap the bookmark you created, and select "add to homescreen" (source: AndroidCentral).

More alternatives:


To do the similar thing to open a file with an associated app, depending on the used, explained using an example:

  1. Go to your homescreen
  2. Long press an empty space where the icon should be placed
  3. In the opening menu, select "shortcut"
  4. Select your file manager (this won't work with all file managers; in my example, I used ES File Explorer, which perfectly serves this case)
  5. Now navigate to the file you want to create a shortcut for (in my example, I selected an EPUB ebook)
  6. The icon should appear on your homescreen.

Now, tapping that icon, either your ebook reader opens directly (if only one is installed, or you've made it the default to "always use"), or, as in my case, a popup asks you to chose the app to be used (e.g. Aldiko, Moon+ Reader, FBReader).

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  • What about starting another program, say, a media player, or ean ebook reader, with a specific file ? – jfmessier Nov 22 '13 at 3:07
  • Just create a shortcut for that file; the associated app would be started along then. If you had e.g. 2 ebook reader apps, you might get a selection popup to chose from – unless you declared one to be "always used". – Izzy Nov 22 '13 at 6:50
  • And hw could I do that, say, from the root file manager, or whatever other file manager that comes with my iplementation of Android ? I know that those implementations vary from one hardware maker to another. – jfmessier Nov 23 '13 at 21:09
  • It rather varies with the apps installed. I just did the following from Apex Launcher: Long press empty space, select "Shortcut", then "ES File Explorer" (the file manager I use), navigate to the wanted file, select it. Now I have a new icon (in my case, an EPUB book) on my desktop. Tapping that asks me which app I want it to open with: Aldiko (came pre-installed), or Moon+ Reader (my favorite). – Izzy Nov 24 '13 at 0:12

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