App Shortcuts and Maskable Icons: Play It Like Twitter

App Shortcuts and Maskable Icons: Play It Like Twitter

We recently added app shortcuts and maskable icons to DeckDeckGo. While I was reading tutorials to implement these features, I came across some questions regarding design, such as: What’s the size of the safe area? Should the shortcut icon colors be contrasting? Are shortcut icons maskable icons or regular ones? Can both maskable and regular icons find a place together?

We recently added app shortcuts and maskable icons to DeckDeckGo. While I was reading tutorials to implement these features, I came across some questions regarding design, such as:

  • What’s the size of the safe area?
  • Should the shortcut icon colors be contrasting?
  • Are shortcut icons maskable icons or regular ones?
  • Can both maskable and regular icons find a place together?

While I would probably have been able to solve these questions by myself, by reading the related blog posts and documentation more carefully, I had the idea instead to do what also works well in such a situation: be a copycat.

Twitter, which I am using on a daily basis, is a great example of progressive web apps. Moreover, I’m guessing that they have some budget to invest in UX and design development. Therefore, why not use their best practices to unleash our features instead of reinventing the wheel?

Thank you, Twitter!


Sneak Peek

In this article, I share the answers and resources we used to add app shortcuts and maskable icons to our editor for presentations.


App Shortcuts

App shortcuts are now supported by Chrome version 84 and Microsoft Edge.

Moreover, progressive web apps available in Google Play also support shortcuts. We are using the PWA builder to convert our PWA to the store’s requested TWA format. They recently upgraded their tool to also automatically support these links, so once again, thank your PWA builder team for the improvements.

The tutorial on web.dev is a great resource to get started. It describes which options can or should be provided to add such shortcuts to a web app.

product-design design programming web-development progressive-web-app

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