Home Screen Quick Actions

Home screen quick actions are a convenient way to perform useful, app-specific actions right from the Home screen. People can get a menu of available quick actions when they touch and hold an app icon (on a 3D Touch device, people can press briefly on the icon to see the menu). For example, Mail includes quick actions that open the Inbox or the VIP mailbox, initiate a search, and create a new message. For related guidance on the context menus you can provide throughout your app, see Context Menus.

Each Home screen quick action includes a title, an icon on the left or right (depending on your app’s position on the Home screen), and an optional subtitle. The title and subtitle are always left-aligned in left-to-right languages. Your app can even dynamically update its quick actions when new information is available. For example, Messages provides quick actions for opening your most recent conversations.

Screenshot of the Camera app's list of Home screen quick actions.

TIP Some apps display a widget above their list of quick actions. For example, the Stocks quick action list appears below a widget showing your current stock values. Consider implementing a widget to provide an even more engaging experience. For widget design guidelines, see Home Screen Quick Action Widgets.

Create quick actions for compelling, high-value tasks. For example, Maps lets people search near their current location or get directions home without first opening the Maps app. Every app should enable at least one useful quick action; you can provide a total of four.

Avoid using quick actions to ease navigation. If it’s difficult or time-consuming to visit important areas in your app, first fix your navigation to work well for everyone. Next, focus on providing quick actions that enable useful, creative tasks.

Avoid making unpredictable changes to quick actions. Dynamic quick actions are a great way to keep actions relevant. For example, it may make sense to update quick actions based on the current location or recent activities in your app, time of day, or changes in settings. However, actions shouldn’t change in ways that are unpredictable or confusing.

Provide a succinct title for each quick action. An action’s title should instantly communicate the results of the action; for example, “Directions Home,” “Create New Contact,” and “New Message.” If you need to give more context, provide a subtitle too. Mail uses subtitles to indicate whether there are unread messages in the Inbox and VIP folder. Don’t include your app name or any extraneous information in the title or subtitle, keep the text short to avoid truncation, and take localization into account as you write the text.

Don’t use quick actions for notification. People expect to receive notifications from apps in other ways. See Notifications.

Provide a recognizable icon for each quick action. Whenever possible, use the familiar system icons listed in Quick Action Icons. If you design your own icons, use the Quick Action Icon Template that's included with the Apple UI Design Resources for iOS and follow the guidelines in Custom Icons.

Don't use an emoji in place of an icon. Emojis don't align properly with right-aligned text. Also, emojis are full color, whereas quick action icons are monochromatic.