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Android L Features: New Quick Settings Panel is Mostly Improved

anhdorid l quick settings

Our coverage of Android L features continues this afternoon with a look at the newly restyled Quick Settings Panel (QSP). For those not familiar, the Quick Settings Panel was previously accessed as a secondary pulldown from the notification shade that gave you quick shortcuts for toggling off things like WiFi, Bluetooth, Airplane mode, or your data connection. It also gave you battery status, let you view your contact card, and jump into the full list of Android settings. In Android L, it still functions much of the same way, but you now access and interact with it somewhat differently.

First, to access the Quick Settings Panel, you either swipe down once from the notification bar when on the lock screen, or swipe down twice when the device is unlocked. You can also swipe down the notification shade once, then tap the status bar to expand the panel. The two-finger swipe-down is completely gone.

The overall layout of the QSP has changed quite significantly. Gone is the big, unattractive black grid of buttons for each setting – in is a multi-layered yet minimal Material Design-styled setup. You have an area with a dedicated adaptive brightness slider, date and time, plus a settings shortcut next to a useless battery icon and contact pop-up shortcut. Below that, you have a secondary layer that includes your quick toggles for things like WiFi and Bluetooth, though they act much differently this time around.

The toggles for WiFi and Bluetooth are split buttons, with the top portion acting as the toggle to turn them on or off, while the bottom half lets you enter each setting with a single tap. There are no more long-presses in the QSP on Android L. (Thank you!) As you probably noticed, the battery percentage shortcut is gone, but you do have a new shortcut for “Notifications.” We already showed you how this item works in another Android L feature write-up about Do Not Disturb mode. Rounding out the setup are toggles for Auto-rotate, data, location, and screen casting.

Again, the concept of a Quick Settings Panel hasn’t changed in Android L, but it has been given a full make-over with improvements for the most part. See it in action below.

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  • Sporttster

    Was on vacation last week….wth is Android L????

    • EC8CH

      Developer preview of the next version of android… L for the as yet unnamed version after KitKat

      • Sporttster

        Evidently don’t want to go through the whole ‘Key Lime Pie’ oops ‘KitKat’ deal again, ehh lol……

  • Maxi

    I got Android L but my quick settings panel is kind of dark green, how can I do to turn it blue?! :D

  • Elfsiren

    I’d like to see the data button being used as a toggle as well. I’d also like the battery percentage indicator back. Apart from that, I’ve no problems with the new design.

  • Eric Esparza

    Can you rearrange the order of the toggles or replace them with other options?

    • http://www.droid-life.com/ Steve B

      No.

  • Corey Smith

    Man! Thanks to you guys I just learned the two finger pull-down method and I’m gonna lose that on L. Sonuva…. :-)

  • Dave

    I know it may sound like mutiny, but Samsung TW has a much better drop down panel, with a nice brightness slider as well.

    • http://www.droid-life.com/ Steve B

      Quit trolling, Samsung drop down fugly garbage.

  • Jason Downing

    Sweet WIFI name

  • NyReynolds

    But why aren’t the tiles customizable?

  • http://www.greenless.com Lex Lybrand

    This seems like a case of massive over-design.

    CM has it right. Swim on the right side to access QSP. Easy.

    Also, I definitely prefer the simple design of the current panel vs. this new blueish gradient crap. Kill all gradients.

  • Lumia Nexus

    lol, ios style android L is going ios7 while ios 8 is on its way

  • Daniel Russell

    My thing is why don’t we have a flashlight toggle yet. Isn’t there one in the cyanogenmod quick toggles?

    • Allyn K C

      Agreed – I’m amazed that one hasn’t been added yet. It’s one of the reasons I still use the “Notification toggle” app on KitKat, simply to add the flashlight, calculator, and TV remote to a single notification bar. The QSP should as a minimum have an option for flashlight and calculator; better still allowing for the user to add apps of their choice to it for maximum flexibility.

  • http://mikelward.com/ Mikel

    World Cup spoiler in the screenshots. :-(

  • Grayson

    Not having a toggle for auto / adaptive brightness in quick settings is killing me on L. The adaptive brightness doesn’t always work how I expect and it’s a pain going into the Settings app to turn it off and then back on. Also, adjusting the brightness from quick settings is hard now because you always set it too bright since you’re adjusting it while looking at the dark gray quick settings page. On KitKat, the brightness slider popped out and the quick settings drawer closed so that you could adjust brightness with whatever app you’re using in the background. ARGAGRGARGARARRGGGHH!!!!!

    • Joshua Rewerts

      So the little sun icon isn’t a toggle switch? Wonder if maybe it’s intended to be a later update like the battery icon looks like it should be (seems like that should go to the battery life monitor stuff they’ve added).

      • Grayson

        Nope. The little sun icon does nothing.

  • Tyler

    Who bothers pulling down? Nova gestures for the win (double tap on homescreen). Also, I hope that the lack of a functional battery shortcut is a temporary condition.

    • http://www.droid-life.com/ Steve B

      Don’t be a stupid troll. Not everyone loves Nova.

  • http://twitter.com/hkalant hkalant

    I wish they had added a built in toggle torch like in the iOS 7 control center. So I don’t need to install a separate app. Next time.

  • DanSan

    Kellen, you seem like you’re really enjoying the L preview so far. Is that white nexus 5 your “personal” daily driver phone? If so do you carry another phone with you just in case or no?

    • http://www.droid-life.com/ Steve B

      It’s plenty stable as a daily driver. Everything on the phone side works flawlessly. The only issues come from 3rd party apps that haven’t updated yet (to be expected).

  • Lunkman

    Just noticed, no auto rotate on/off on my Moto X…

  • ChrisCorp

    Yet again, no toggle switch between full volume and vibrate (or even silence). I know the Do Not Disturb mode kind of does this, but I almost always keep my phone in vibrate during the day and then switch over to loud after work.

    • JSo

      Long press the little notification “bell” icon.

      • ChrisCorp

        If that works how I’m describing, great! But I’m not running Android L on anything now, so I can’t test it. I will give that a shot though.

  • Ryan O’Neill

    Why doesn’t the mobile network “button” toggle the mobile network? I use that function a lot more than I view my data usage.

  • Chris

    I keep tapping on the battery trying to get to the detailed battery stats. It does nothing yet it’s right next to an idenically sized and styled gear that takes you to the main settings screen. I hope they change this by release.

  • http://www.twitter.com/nblufire12 Nathan Patel

    I’m a major one hand user so this is welcomed!

  • DanielMena9

    YES . easier one hand accessibility with these new giant sized phones.

  • JSo

    I think it’s better because stock android only had 9 tiles (if I remember right) in the quick tiles shade and they only filled up half of the screen which left a lot of unused space. This looks a lot better.

  • Oui Oui

    AP: “FTC accuses T-Mobile of knowingly billing customers for hundreds of millions in bogus charges.”

    Looks like the Frog is taking customers for a ride.

  • Marco

    YEAH ARGENTINA!!!

  • JB

    Did anyone ever really use the two finger pull-down method?

    • jnt

      Actually yes, quite often, on multiple KK phones. This double-tap mess has taken some getting used to… ;)

      • Meltdown07

        Same. I was used to the two-finger thing too. It took me a long time to get there but I did. Now its going to take me a long time to adapt to this new way.

      • jb

        I’m happy with the change as I always thought it should have been a double swipe gesture rather than swipe and tap, or something that requires two handed use

        • jnt

          One handed use is a good point – definitely can’t do that with the 2-finger swipe

          • MikeKorby

            I just did with my Maxx. It wasn’t comfortable. It wasn’t efficient. I actually like myself a little less for having done it.

            Point is, single-handed 2-finger swipe is doable!

        • zurginator

          Why not both?

    • Carlos Lopez

      I did very rarely lol

    • JSo

      Almost never. Not really a two handed user.

    • Scott

      I’m not sure why there are some people who are upset with this change; pulling down with two fingers required two hands on your phone, and usually that’s not possible or ideal. I’d much rather swipe down and tap (how I’ve been doing it all this time anyways) than swipe with two fingers.

      • John Wilson

        How about the option for both? It wouldn’t affect the changes they made and would be a shortcut for those who want to use it.

        • Keg Man

          an option to turn on and off would make people happy. This is a result of the oversimplification “intuitive” iOS of things. i never knew it was there

    • DanSan

      No.

    • Bryan

      I rarely did because it doesn’t work quite right on my Moto X. If you don’t have a lock screen and unlock your phone with the power button (or Active Display unlock) two finger swipe doesn’t work until you do a single touch or swipe on the screen. It’s like the phone doesn’t detect multi point input until you first interact with the screen with one finger.

    • enigmaco

      Thanks to nova I have it set up where I drag my finger down on the screen and it brings it down.

    • Glass

      Tried to, was inconvenient most of the time. I usually use the button.

    • Justin W

      Occasionally, just to see if it worked on my Z2, when I had my Moto X, or my Nexus 4/Note 3… But no, not usually. It was always pull-down for notifications and tap the QS icon.

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    • Enthasuasticalogocalism

      yes, i think thats two finger pull down was innovative

    • Keg Man

      i didn’t know it was there. but I wont be using it anyway