Delpin Susai Raj Thursday, 1 July 2021

Xamarin.Forms - App Shortcuts Using Xamarin.Essentials

In this blog post, you will learn how to add shortcuts using Xamarin.Essentials in Xamarin.Forms App


Xamarin.Forms code runs on multiple platforms - each of which has its own filesystem. This means that reading and writing files is most easily done using the native file APIs on each platform. Alternatively, embedded resources are a simpler solution to distribute data files with an app.

App Actions

Xamarin.Essentials provided one of the best API for App Actions, by clicking the App icon will display the menu option if choose the option app will be navigating the appropriate page or link.


  • Visual Studio 2017 or later (Windows or Mac)
  • Xamarin.Essentials 1.6 or later

Setting up a Xamarin.Forms Project

Start by creating a new Xamarin.Forms project. You will learn more by going through the steps yourself.

Create a new or existing Xamarin forms(.Net standard) Project. With Android and iOS Platform. 

Install Xamarin.Essential Nuget

Note: Make sure you must install Xamarin.Essentials 1.6 or later.

In this step, add Xamarin.Essentials to your project. You can install Xamarin.Essentials via NuGet, or you can browse the source code on GitHub.
Go to Solution Explorer and select your solution. Right-click and select "Manage NuGet Packages for Solution". Search "Xamarin.Essentials" and add Package. Remember to install it for each project (PCL, Android, iO, and UWP). refer below image

Android Setup

Now, Add Intentfilter for App Action in your MainActivity.cs class. Refer to the below image.


iOS Setup

Add below code in AppDelegate.cs to handle App Action in your iOS app.


Add Shortcuts

Now add App shortcuts in your App.Xaml.cs class OnStart Method

The following properties you can be set on an AppAction:

  1. Id: A unique identifier used to respond to the action tap.
  2. Title: the visible title to display.
  3. Subtitle: If supported a sub-title to display under the title.
  4. Icon: Must match icons in the corresponding resources directory on each platform.


Responding To Actions

Now, Register actions for shortcuts in App.xaml.cs constructor.

When an app action is selected the event will be sent with information as to which action was selected.



If App Actions are not supported on the specific version of the operating system a FeatureNotSupportedException will be thrown. 

Full code

You will get the full source code here.



iOS Simulator



I hope you have understood how to add shortcuts using Xamarin.Essentials in Xamarin.Forms App


Thanks for reading. Please share your comments and feedback. Happy Coding :)

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