A URL can contain tons of parameters, besides the address of the website and I’m sure you’ve come across some incredibly long links every once in a while. If you’re not a fan of sharing super long URLs from your phone, you can always use a URL shortening service.
An additional benefit of shortening URLs is they allow you to track how many times they’ve been clicked, given you use the right app for the task. There are multiple options available in the Play Store.
For the purpose of this guide, I’m using the app called URL Shortener developed by Kizito Nwose, as it is free and has a clean Material Design interface, packing plenty of options but not that many to make things overly complicated.
To begin with, you can download the app from the link below or search it in the Play Store on your Android device.
Install URL Shortener for free (Google Play)
Once the installation is complete, open the app and in the main window, you start by typing or pasting the URL you want to shorten. The ‘Short URL structure‘ option lets you select the formatting of your short URL. There are various preset options available, as well as a custom one.
URL Shortener also allows you to choose the provider and it offers a number of popular URL shortening services such as goo.gl, bit.ly and j.mp. There is an option to log statistics as well, so you can see how many clicks your short URL is getting.
However, you should be aware that some of the providers don’t support all of these options. For example goo.gl only supports the standard formatting structure, and statistics are not available for TinyURL.
No need to worry if you care for these options as the app will notify you of the missing features when you try to switch to one of these providers.
You can further customize the app from the Settings pane. There, you can select the default provider, set the length of the short URL and enable the statistics log. What’s more, URL Shortener lets you set the size and color of the QR code.
Finally, after you configure all the available settings to your liking, simply tap on the ‘Shorten’ option and the app will generate a short URL, as well as a QR code. Then, tap on the ‘+’ sign to access sharing options or to copy the short URL to the clipboard.
The app integrates into Android’s sharing menu, so whenever you’re in a different app or looking at a webpage in your browser, you can quickly send a link to URL Shortener and format it.
Lastly, you can access a History pane, where you can view all the links you’ve shortened in the past, which can be very useful if you want to re-share some of them.
What’s your favorite way to shorten URLs and have you tried URL Shortener? Let us know in the comments section below.