Earlier this month, MobileSyrup published a guide on creating a shortcut on an iPhone to quickly access your vaccination record when people need to check their vaccination status.
While useful for iPhone users, the guide has nothing for Android users; this new guide should help in that regard. With that said, if you’ve come to this page and you own an iPhone, you need to click here to go to the iPhone guide.
Okay, now that it’s just us cool Android users, here’s how you can create an easy shortcut to access your vaccination document on your phone. To be clear, this is not a replacement for a vaccination certificate app or similar technology, it is just a convenient way to carry a digital copy of your vaccination receipt for when you need to check your vaccination status.
Download your vaccination receipt
First of all, you will need to obtain a digital copy of your vaccination status. For Ontario residents, you can do that using this website of the Ontario government. You can click or tap here to access the website, then select ‘Get your vaccine receipt’. If you do not live in Ontario, you can follow the same steps, but you will need to obtain your proof of vaccination from your province / territory / country website.
On the next page, you will need to enter some personal information, including your health card number, zip code, and date of birth. The site will then allow you to access a PDF copy of your proof of vaccination. You will want to download it to your computer or phone. Those who do this on their computer will need to move the PDF to their phone (if you use a service like Google Drive or Microsoft OneDrive, you won’t need to upload the file from your phone later).
Choose an app to use
IPhone owners can use a handy app called ‘Shortcuts’ to create an app icon that links directly to a digital copy of their vaccination status. While shortcuts aren’t available for Android (it’s an Apple app after all), there are several similar solutions. Perhaps the easiest, if not necessarily the best, is to use a cloud storage or file management application to quickly access the vaccination test PDF via a shortcut on the home screen generated by a management application. files or cloud storage.
Realistically, this same strategy should work with any application that allows you to create shortcuts on the home screen to specific files; Google Files, unfortunately, doesn’t allow you to do that as far as I know, which is why I chose to use a cloud storage app. instead of.
I tested this on Google Drive, OneDrive, and Dropbox and it works on all three platforms. I recommend using the one you already use as it is the easiest. However, I found that Google Drive worked a bit better than the other two because it allowed you to link directly to the PDF file.
The more tech-savvy people could probably use an app like Tasker to create a shortcut to the PDF. However, Tasker costs $ 4.59 in Canada and can be quite complex (I found myself struggling to figure it out, and I’m generally pretty good at these things). I also tried IFTTT but couldn’t figure out how to do what I wanted.
Ultimately, the approach I detail below is a good balance between accessible and convenient. However, if you have other solutions, we invite you to share them in the comments below. Finally, it is worth noting that some online services offer tools to convert the vaccination test PDF into a scannable QR code. While it is certainly useful, not all businesses or locations are equipped to scan those codes and verify them; you may also need to have your proof of vaccination (digitally or physically) ready to use. The steps below should help you set it up.
Creating your home screen shortcut
Get started by uploading your vaccination PDF to the cloud service of your choice. On Google Drive, that’s all you need to do. With OneDrive and Dropbox, I found that you couldn’t create a shortcut to a specific file, so I recommend putting the PDF in a folder. And for greater efficiency, tap the three-dot menu button next to the PDF file and set it to be available offline; the application you are using will download the file and store it locally for you.
Then go to the home screen of your Android phone and do the following (note that some steps may differ slightly depending on the phone you have, the version of Android, and other software):
1. Long press on an empty space on the home screen and select ‘Widgets’ from the menu.
2. Find the section of the application of your choice (Google Drive, OneDrive, Dropbox, etc.).
3. Press and hold the ‘shortcut’ widget, then drag it to the home screen.
4. Follow the steps to select a file or folder (note that Google Drive will ask you which account to use if you have multiple accounts).
5. Select the vaccination PDF file (Drive) or the folder where you placed the file (OneDrive, Dropbox).
Once done, you should have a shortcut on your home screen. When you tap on it, the PDF file or the folder where you save the file will open, allowing you to quickly access it from your home screen.