Randhir Kumar


How to add Static Quick Action for your iOS app.

Randhir Kumar's photo
Randhir Kumar
·Jul 8, 2021·

3 min read

What is Quick Action?

Apple has introduced quick action from iOS 13 or later & it's a convenient way to perform useful, app specific actions right away from the home screen.

Apps can display Home Screen quick actions when users touch and hold the app icon (on a 3D Touch device, users press briefly on the icon). Here is an example for the health app quick actions.


How to add Quick Action?

There are two ways to add quick action for your app

  1. Static Quick Actions

    if your quick actions are pre-determined, define them as a list of 
    shortcut items(quick action) in the `Info.plist` file.
  2. Dynamic Quick Actions

if your quick actions are depend upon user-specific data or state of app, 
define them by setting the `shortcutItems` property of the 
shared `UIApplication` instance to an array of `UIApplicationShortcutItem` objects.

Let's get started with Static Quick Actions.

Let's consider, we need to add quick action for this Charts GitHub project . This project is mainly showing different types of rendering charts in iOS using Charts library. For more info on this project visit the Readme.md

Let's say we need to add quick action for going to BarChart page from the Home screen.

Steps involved:

  1. Open the ChartDemo.xcworkspace project.

  2. Open the Info.plist file, and add a new key called UIApplicationShortcutItems, then set it to be an Array.

  3. Add new item to the array list of UIApplicationShortcutItems, which will get the name "Item 0", and set its data type to be Dictionary.

  4. Define your quick actions dictionary with following keys under the dictionary.

InfoPlist.png Here we have,

UIApplicationShortcutItemType key is required field and this should be unique strings that will help in identify the quick Action. Let’s give “com.graphDemo.barChart”.

UIApplicationShortcutItemTitle key is required and need to specify the title for quick action displayed to the user. Let’s give “Go to Bar Chart”.

UIApplicationShortcutItemIconType is optional key and it defines the icon for the quick action. Let's give "barChart.jpg" which is already preset in assets folder.

Run the app, you will be able to see the quick action menu, But it will not do anything because we have not implemented the click action on it. Let’s do it now

Screenshot 2021-07-08 at 2.58.06 PM.png

Respond to triggered quick action

When users triggered the quick action from the home screen, it will be notified to the app by UIWindowSceneDelegate.

  • If your app is already loaded, the system calls the windowScene(_:performActionFor:completionHandler:) function of your scene delegate.
  • If the app isn’t already loaded, it’s launched and passes details of the shortcut item in through the connectionOptions parameter of the scene(_:willConnectTo:options:) function.

Steps to add triggered action for Go to Bar Chart:

  1. Open SceneDelegate.swift file
  2. Add this code snippet to SceneDelegate.swift file
func windowScene(_ windowScene: UIWindowScene, performActionFor shortcutItem: UIApplicationShortcutItem, completionHandler: @escaping (Bool) -> Void) {
        switch shortcutItem.type {
        case "com.graphDemo.barChart":
            // Go To Bar chart screen
            guard let vc = UIStoryboard(name: "Main", bundle: .main).instantiateViewController(withIdentifier: "BarChartViewController") as? BarChartViewController else { return }
            if let homeVC = window?.rootViewController as? UINavigationController {
                homeVC.pushViewController(vc, animated: true)
        default: break
  1. Run the app and trigger the Go to Bar Chart quick actions from the home screen, you should be able to navigate to Bar Chart Screen.

Find the completed implementation for static quick action in this StaticQuickActions GitHub repo.


Share this