You missed the Android 12 quick settings trick

You missed the Android 12 quick settings trick

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  • Well, here’s the good news — and the same thing I told her: As with most things in Android, the power to decide how you want your device to work ultimately resides in your hands. (Novel concept, no?) And if Android 12’s Quick Settings setup isn’t quite cuttin’ it for ya, lemme tell ya: You’ve got a spectacularly simple way to flex that phone-owner muscle and take control. [Psst: Love shortcuts? My new Android Shortcut Supercourse will teach you tons of time-saving tricks for your phone. Sign up now for free!]

  • For lots of folks, one such element is Android 12’s adjusted approach to Quick Settings — y’know, that panel of fast-access tiles you can reach by swiping down from the top of your device’s screen. That was certainly the case with one of my Android Intelligence Platinum members, who recently contacted me on my Platinum Help Desk with the desperate plea for a creative solution to help her customize her phone’s Quick Settings and undo the “improvements” Android 12 introduced.

As you probably know, being the smart and exceptionally attractive lizard that you are, Android’s Quick Settings area actually exists in two different forms. There’s the full Quick Settings panel, which you find by swiping down twice from the top of your display (or swiping down once with two fingers side-by-side). And then there’s the partial Quick Settings view, which shows up above your notifications when you swipe down a single time from the top of your suspiciously greasy screen.

Now, you may well adjust to the change and not be bothered by it after a while. But if you really aren’t feelin’ the larger, less dense Quick Settings arrangement Android 12 introduces, there’s a very effective way to eliminate it. The trick revolves around a fantastically useful app called Power Shade. It’s a thoughtfully designed tool that lets you replace your device’s entire default Quick Settings area with your own highly customized alternative — kind of like a custom Android launcher, only for Quick Settings instead of your home screen.

On earlier Android versions, that partial view allowed you to see and interact with six splendid shortcuts — whichever Quick Settings tiles were in the first six positions within that area: On Android 12, though, the tiles bulked up. And consequently, you can see only four shortcuts in that same amount of space. Is it purty? Well, sure. But from a purely functional perspective, it’s tough to deny that having fast access to only four items instead of six in the same amount of space is a bit of a regression.

And in fact, going back to the pre-Android-12, smaller Quick Settings style couldn’t be much easier. If you fire Power Shade up and leave it with its out-of-the-box settings, it’ll give you a shiny new Quick Settings panel that looks a lot like Google’s older style — almost exactly what you’re used to from Android 11 and earlier: Uncanny, right? And here’s where things get especially nifty: If you want, from there, you can fine-tune and tweak practically every imaginable pixel of the Power Shade interface to make it look and work any way you like.

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