If you need quick access your favorite apps in GNOME Shell you can pin ’em to the Dash — or put them in a folder and pin that to the Dash.
You can’t do this out of the box, but with new Pin App Folders to Dash GNOME extension installed, you can. It lets you add any app folder in GNOME Shell’s Applications screen to the Dash.
For those confused, the Dash is the name of the dock/favorites bar you see in GNOME Shell when you enter the Activities overview. A number of Linux distributions (including Ubuntu) replace the Dash with an alternative launcher. This extension does not work with them.
When Pin App Folders to Dash is enabled you can right-click on any app folder in the applications screen to “pin to dash”.
It is instantly added to the Dash where you can hover over it to see the folder name. I wasn’t able to change the position of folders using drag and drop, neither on the app folder icon itself or by dragging regular app icons to the side of it:
Clicking on a folder in the Dash instantly open the app folder using the standard UX, rather than requiring you to go to the Applications grid:
At the time of writing this extension does not work with Dash to Panel, Dash to Dock, or similar. It’s open source code though; there’s nothing to say support for those popular extensions in the future can’t or won’t be added.
I encountered a bug, and I figure I’d mention it.
I did find that the Ubuntu Dock, Dash to Dock, and Dash to Panel were empty (no icons) when this extension was enabled. I imagine this is because they don’t know how to “deal” with app folders being “favorites”‘”. Disabling this app folder extension and logging out solves it.