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Glossary of Shift Terminology

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The glossary shared here is meant to give you some fundamental definitions of terms you'll come across with using Shift.

Term or Phrase Definition


An app such as Slack or Asana that you access within the Shift environment. Apps that you've added to your setup are accessed via the lower section of the Shift sidebar. All of the apps in Shift are web-based versions.

App Shortcuts

A way to connect apps from one Workspace to another.
App unread badge The circular notification count appears on an app icon, alerting users to the number of unread notifications within that specific app instance. You can toggle this count on or off by right-clicking on the app and toggling "Show App Unread Badge. "
App instance An app instance refers to that specific app appearing on the Shift sidebar. If you have 2 separate Slack apps added to Shift, these are each a "Slack instance".
Badge Badges are circular notification counts appearing on Workspace and app icons alerting the number of unread notifications
Custom app A custom app is an app instance that was added to the Shift sidebar using the "custom URL" method. 
Workspace (email connected) An email-linked Workspace is a focused space where you can connect an email account (with corresponding Calendar and Drive) and add a unique set of apps and bookmarks.
Workspace (standalone) A non-email-linked Workspace is a focused space containing a grouping of unique apps and bookmarks
Workspace unread badge The circular notification count appearing on a Workspace icon alerting the number of unread notifications within that Workspace. You can adjust whether this numerical count displays just unread emails, just notifications from certain apps, or a total of both.
Extension Shift utilizes Chrome's extension library to allow the use of extensions in the Shift environment.
OAuth OAuth is a delegated authorization framework that enables apps to obtain limited access (scopes) to data. Shift uses Google and Microsoft's OAuth process to enable access within the Shift environment.
Primary Workspace Your Primary Workspace is the Workspace tied to your Shift account. It will contain your Primary email and the apps tied to this email. Paid users need to be signed into Shift with this email to access paid features. This email account will always appear at the top of the Shift sidebar.
Partition A partition is a browsing session (e.g. Chrome profiles). Each email account and app added to Shift is a separate partition, which is how you can be signed in to multiple email accounts and app instances within one environment.
Secondary Workspace All the other Workspaces you will add in Shift other than Primary. You can have as many Workspaces as you want as Secondary. You can also have different sets of apps tied to these Workspaces.
Sidebar The sidebar is the area on the left side of the Shift environment where your Workspace and app icons live.
Shift Ultra The latest version of Shift (v9 and onwards)
Services/Fixtures Services/Fixtures by Microsoft and Google (e.g. Docs, Analytics, Sheets) which can be easily accessed via Quick Settings in the the top-right corner of each Workspace.
Tab A tab is a web tab. Nothing crazy here.
Quick Settings The main settings page in Shift at the top-right corner of the app
Quick switcher The Quick Switcher is a tool built into Shift that allows you to instantly toggle between previously opened tabs, emails, and apps. 
Epic Search

Epic (formally known as "Unified") search is a built-in search function that allows you to search across bookmarks, recently opened documents, browsing history, and more. It also delivers quick answers and web results. 

Smart link-handling When you click on a link related to an app, the smart link-handling feature detects this and asks if you'd like to open the link in the respective app.
Beta channel The Beta channel is the testing channel where power users can go to get early access to the newest features. The Beta channel receives the newest releases of Shift. 
Stable channel The Stable channel is where 99% of the Shift user base lives. It is updated after a new release has passed through the Beta channel.
Shift for teams One of the two paid plans at Shift. Users must reach out to the support team for Shift for Teams via the "Getting Started" option here.
License A license is needed to access Shift's paid features. Each paid user requires a license (e.g., if a team of 5 needs 5 licenses).
Unified Calendar Unified Calendar pulls from all of your added email accounts and displays a daily view of all your calendar events.


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