Social media websites are not the only places to chat, make friends, have discussions and get help. There are some great forums too. Here’s how to create a shortcut on your phone or tablet to open your favourite forum.

A shortcut on your Android phone or iPhone looks like an app and it has an icon, but there is nothing to download, nothing to install, and no storage or memory is used. It is like an app, only better!

This step-by-step guide looks at Android first. The same trick can be performed with iOS and there are a couple of screenshots at the end showing how to add a shortcut on your iPhone. Both devices are similar in many ways.

Chat

1 Start your browser

Open a web browser on your phone. Here is Chrome showing the Google home page.

Chrome on mobile

2 Go to the forum

Tap in the address box at the top and enter the address of the forum. In this case we are visiting forums.rawinfopages.com.

Forums on mobile

3 Show the menu

Tap the three dots at the top, to the right of the address and a menu is displayed. Press Add to Home screen.

Chrome menu

4 Enter the name

Enter the name for this shortcut or edit the description. Keep it short, this is the caption underneath the icon that will appear on the Home screen.

Create a shortcut

5 Sign in

The shortcut is created and is ready to use, but to make the forum even easier to access, tap the link to sign in. (There is an option to create an account too.) An important step here is to tick the box labelled Keep me signed in. This ensures that when you tap the forum icon on the home screen you go straight into the forum without having to tediously sign in every time.

Forum sign in

6 Browse the discussions

The forum opens and you can browse the discussions. The speech button on the right of the menu bar is to create a new discussion of your own. Got something to say? Need help? Tap it and create a discussion. (To keep out spammers, forums might not let you post straight away.)

Browse forums on mobile

7 View a discussion

Tap a discussion and it is displayed on the screen. Here’s a news story that has been posted in the Tech News Stories section of this forum.

View forum discussions

8 Add your comment

Do you have something to add? Do you have any thoughts on the discussion? Share them. Scroll down to the bottom, tap in the comment box and type in your comment. (Forums attract spammers, so you might not be able to comment straight away.)

 Add forum comments

 

Add shortcuts on the iPhone

The iPhone and iPad can create shortcut icons too. They work the same way and they enable you to go straight to your favourite forum without having to type in URLs, usernames and passwords.

Open Safari and go to the forum, such as forums.rawinfopages.com.

Forums on iOS

In the toolbar at the bottom of the screen, tap the Share icon and the following options appear. Tap the Add to Home Screen button and that’s it.

Create shortcut on iOS

As with Android, you should log in (create an account if your do not have one) and tick the option to remember your username and password. This saves you having to type it in every time.

Now you can go straight to the discussions with one tap on an icon on your Home screen. This trick works with other websites and forums too. It’s useful to have a few shortcuts on your Home screen to save typing URLs or searching through bookmarks.