Desktop quicklink/widget to call a contact or open a file

I have posted this earlier somewhere but not as a feature request by itself so here it goes.

My everyday use scenario is that I have to use call forwarding in certain situations at work to be reachable from another phone. In android phones one can make a simple widget pointing to certain number in your contact list and I used that feature to make/remove the call forwarding with a single press of an icon. Very simple.

In Sailfish OS one has to select contacts > find the contact (if not starred to top) > select the number in that contact so there are more steps to do which is quite annoying.

Is there a way in general to make any kind of a links to files to the desktop? Like for example if I have covid-19 vaccination passport as a PDF-file which I would like to have on desktop for quick access. Is this possible?

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Hi. You can achieve that by creating *.desktop file in .local/share/applications/ directory. Just put xdg-open with desired uri to Exec property. For call: xdg-open tel:1234


Thanks! Was searching too.
But I get no results.
Would you have an example file and also,
I understand the directory is this one:

As ric9k mentioned above there are no new links visible on desktop but when executing the commands from the terminal they seem to work so there is some part missing still. Some permission thing perhaps?

Ok, I think I found the solution from this forum to my 2nd question:

The call forwarding thing however does not work completely as the string after the tel-part ignores all symbols which are needed when using the call forwarding. (**21*number# to enable forwarding and ##21# to disable it)

EDIT: Also even if one makes a simple link to an ordinary phone number without any symbols, it hangs to a spinning wheel around phone-symbol.

I haven’t tried it for call forwarding, but for a simple phone number it’s possible to add a shortcut for calling in the app grid:

  • in the favourites list of the browser: longpress a favourite and select add to app grid
  • change title (e.g. call Home) and web address (e.g. tel: +31 26 123 45 67) and Save

Yes, it should be possible to store url to home grid from the Browser…

From command line, you need to do this:

mkdir -p .local/share/applications/

echo "[Desktop Entry]
Name=Call mum
Exec=/usr/bin/xdg-open tel:123456789" > .local/share/applications/call-mum.desktop

update-desktop-database .local/share/applications


Tu sum up, what works to make a shortcut to a phonecall into the app grid is:
Create a file in /home/defaultuser/.local/share/applications/.
Into this file, place:

[Desktop Entry]
Name=Deviation to Dummy
Exec=xdg-open tel:+123456789

For call forwarding, I also tried (\# and "#" and '#') but without success.
EDIT oops, writing at the same time as @karry

But still, these are not desktop/homescreen shortcuts but app grid ones.
Is it possible to make a desktop shortcut in SF?

This should be a feature Request worth.
My idea is to have two options:

1st Option:
Add complete Person-Info-Entry to the Grid like:
Open People-App and select a Person Name from the List and press and hold on the Name to open the Menubar (Edit/Add to Favorites/Add to App-Grid/Delete Contact)

That would create a new Grid-Icon with the Foto of the Person as Icon (otherwise a Call-Icon) and the Name. Clicking on it just opens the People-App with the Person Information-Page.

2nd Option:
When opening the Persons Info-Page, select one Number and hold the Entry until the Menu appears (Copy to Clipboard/Edit/Add to App-Grid)

That would create a new Grid-Icon with the Foto of the Person as Icon (otherwise a Call-Icon) and the Name with Prefix Mobile/Home…etc. Clicking on it directly performs a Call.

That would two very practial features.

Hi all, stupid question time. I’ve forgotten how to make a new desktop file. I recall how to make a new directory (mkdir) but cannot for the life of me, recall the commands for creating a new file. Anyone?

I like to use:

touch newfilename

then edit with the editor of your choice (vi, nano, mcedit…etc)

thank you @fingus…I do not recall ever typing touch to make a new file on sfos. I did search the interweb and did find a general linux forum where it also says use touch, but ignored it as it was ubuntu based. Thanks again :slight_smile:

But why to use Touch command? At least for vi and nano is enough to just use the editor, for example:

vi newfile

or whatever name of new file, edit it and then normally save.