How to create a shortcut to fast dial or direct message a contact, in Android

Do you need a shortcut on your Android smartphone to direct dial or direct message a person? You may need to quickly call a co-worker, or your wife, or your father. This can be done with ease if someone shows you how. The procedure involved is not intuitive unless you have done it before or you have seen someone else doing it. That’s why, to help you out, we have created this guide that shows how to add a direct dial shortcut on your Android smartphone:

NOTE: This guide was made using Android 7 Nougat, but it works the same also in Android 5 Lollipop and Android 6 Marshmallow. On your smartphone, things might look a bit different, especially if the manufacturer of your device has changed the default user interface. However, the steps involved are the same, no matter the brand. If you follow our instructions, you should get things done, no matter how things look on your smartphone.

How to add a shortcut for direct dialing a contact’s number, on your Android smartphone

First, go to the home screen of your Android smartphone and navigate to the page where you want to add the shortcut. Then, press and hold somewhere on the empty space on that page. The page is minimized, and you see some new shortcuts on the bottom of the screen. Tap Widgets.

You are shown a list of widgets from all the apps that are installed on your Android smartphone. Scroll down until you find Contacts and the widgets that are offered by this apps. Here, you can choose from three types of widgets:

  • Contact - ads a shortcut for the contact that you select. When you tap this shortcut, you see all the contact details of the person that you choose, and you can initiate actions like phone calls, messages, and so on.
  • Direct dial - ads a shortcut that, when pressed, immediately calls the number you select for the contact you choose.
  • Direct message - ads a shortcut that, when pressed, opens a new message to that person, on the number that you want.

Tap and hold Direct dial and a preview of the home screen is shown, and the page where you were earlier. Drag the Direct dial widget where you want to place it on the home screen.

Release the Direct dial widget where you want it, and then Android displays a list with all your contacts. Find the person for which you want this Direct dial shortcut and choose the phone number that you want to use for calling him or her.

Once you tap on the phone number that you want to use, the shortcut is added where you dragged it, on the home screen.

How to add a shortcut for direct messaging a contacts’ number, on your Android smartphone

You may also want a shortcut for quickly sending an SMS or MMS message to a person that you frequently contact, like your child, spouse or a particular co-worker. The procedure for doing this is the same as the one for adding a Direct dial shortcut. The only difference is that you need to choose the Direct message widget.

After you select the person whom you want to text and their phone number, the Direct message shortcut is added where you dragged it on the home screen.

For how many people do you have a direct dial or direct message shortcut?

Many people appreciate having a direct dial shortcut for their loved ones or for people with whom they work frequently. Before you close this article, we would like to know how many such shortcuts you have on your Android smartphone. We have only a few, mostly for very close family members, like our spouse and children. What about you?