Android L Features: New Quick Settings Panel is Mostly Improved

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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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