The slow and low adoption of new versions of Android is indeed a pity, because each version brings refinements and enhancements to the platform. One such feature introduced in Android Nougat 7.1 is ‘App Shortcuts’. Long pressing icon of a supported app in launcher pops a menu of actions, which lead directly to a specific task. Rather similar to “quick actions” in iOS – but in iOS it is only for devices with ‘3D touch’ (pressure sensitive screens).
The Nougat implementation is simpler and has an additional cool feature: a shortcut can be picked up from the menu and placed independently on the home screen. Implementing app shortcuts is easy, but given the very low adoption of Nougat, in reality only users with the latest Pixel or Nexus phones are likely to experience this feature in the near future.
Below are a couple of screenshots from development version of Indian Train Status app, showing both the long-press menu, and the shortcuts picked and placed on the home screen: