Back in early October while we were knee-deep in a pre-release Android 4.2 system dump, Ron found an interesting tidbit of info on a "quick settings" menu. Back then, it was a double pull down notification area that housed absolutely nothing of value. Thanks to today's Nexus/Android 4.2 announcements, however, we know not only what options the Quick Settings area will feature, but also how to really access it.

There are actually two ways to get into the QS menu, as highlighted by Hugo Barra in an incredible behind-the-scenes video put together by The Verge (see the full video here):

As you can see in the above clip, there will be a small toggle in the notification area directly beside the current Settings button, which, when pressed, will cause the notification area to do a neat little flip, revealing the Quick Setting area. It's pretty, and I like it. You should, too.

However, if the pull+tap combo is just too much work and you need to get into Quick Setting with hyperspeed, there's another way: the two-finger pulldown. Absolutely brilliant! It's clear that Google is really going to embrace gesture-type actions moving forward, and I, for one, welcome this. They're a nice, easy way to get more features while still retaining a clean, minimal interface.

I'm definitely looking forward to all the new goodies announced today. But for now, I'll be happy with an OTA. Quickly, please.

Cameron Summerson
Cameron is a self-made geek, Android enthusiast, horror movie fanatic, musician, and cyclist. When he's not pounding keys here at AP, you can find him spending time with his wife and kids, plucking away on the 6-string, spinning on the streets, or watching The Texas Chainsaw Massacre on repeat.

  • Connor Hartzog

    I absolutely love this video. If anybody can watch it and not appreciate what the Android team is doing, there is something wrong with them. Nobody else working with Android can compete with this, plain and simple. Oh and I love Matias Duarte and Hugo Barra.

    • Karthik Kumar

      True True.. Android is really pushing fast on the UI and features front. But Cyanogenmod already has quick change toggles in the notification bar which is customizable. So AOSP and CM are pretty much picking up stuff from each other and improving at a blistering pace.

      • Al Fonz

        CM isn't going to end up on everyones handset.. only nerds tbh.
        Android uncut is pushing to be the dominant choice for the regular folk.
        It is just a good thing to watch how Android has developed.
        Apposed to the other "fruit" that just loves tiles and bubbles!

        • Greyhame

          I prefer the term geek, if you please ;)

    • http://www.facebook.com/wrg25 Will Gonzalez

      yes... those guys are doing an amazing job

    • Abhigyan Banerjee

      Also. No underhanded dig taken at Apple. Keeping it classy.

      • marcusmaximus04

        Mmmm, it may have flown under the radar, but the whole "we don't do brushed aluminum" thing was a dig at Apple.

        • Abhigyan Banerjee

          Yeah. I did wonder about that. But still, they aren't brandishing iPhone 5s on the video.

  • Christopher Theofilaktos

    It's about time we had toggles in AOSP. I like Googles take on it, but I like the CM10/AOKP variant as well, hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. I wonder what other things you could do with the "toggles screen"

    • jordanjay29

      I like CM's one-click toggles, but it's good to have the functionality somewhat built into the core. I can understand the need to show users the full settings screen, rather than just turning things on and off and leaving users no intuitive way to change deeper settings quickly. That said, the power user in me screams at the prospect of clicking twice and being kicked out of my current task just to change settings, GPS toggle in Maps anyone?

      • Christopher Theofilaktos

        I just can't believe it's taken this long, I can't use a phone without toggles and I'm not even kidding, it's such a handy feature, I switch 2g/3g all the time as well as gps and wifi so it's awesome to quickly pull down the notifications shade (Or whatever it's called) and toggle things. I look at phones without toggles and think to myself there's so much wasted space there, especially now that we have 4"+ as pretty much standard (And as big as 4.8 and 5.5).

        • mola2alex

          WiFi and Bluetooth are not toggles in 4.2, they bring you to the WiFi and Bluetooth settings pages. I am disappointed.

  • TheFirstUniverseKing

    I'm in love with this implementation of quick toggles.

    • mola2alex

      You should try it first. They are not all toggles. WiFi and Bluetooth bring you to the config pages, they do not toggle them on and off. It actually adds an extra step vs ICS.

  • nsnsmj

    I quite like this implementation of quick settings. I also quite like the new large-screen tablet interface. Everything's more unified now.

    Now if only I could afford one of these devices. My Nexus S is really showing its age these days.

    Edit: Also, can't wait for Android Police's 'Getting To Know Android' breakdown(s).

    • KreeTerry

      Man $350 aint a bad price, gotta have a yard sale lol. thinking of leaving verizon for this bad boy but i might get one and just tether to my gnex until i get the balls to leave, this way i can have a n4 and LTE lol

    • paul100

      my nexus s too. so removed all widgets, uninstalled apps which constantly runs in background. now its as fast as galaxy nexus! I have no lagging issues! Try Lightning Launcher if you just want to launch apps. (It lighter than stock launcher). also I hope we get android 4.2 as last update, before letting it RIP.

      • http://twitter.com/navjotbatra Navjot

        We will surely get 4.2, as there are no major changes that require better hardware (other than perhaps the Photo Sphere thing).

  • Danny Perez

    My vibrant is running jelly bean so it's way faster than it would have been if I kept it stock, but it feels more laggy every day. I need me some nexus grade jelly beans :D

  • http://twitter.com/KaleDostick Kale Dostick

    The Nexus 10 is next on my list. I've never owned a Nexus phone, because no SD slot, and no removable battery were deal breakers. On a tablet I don't need an SD slot. I'm happy to say I've never given a penny to apple, and never will! Android for life!

    • Mathias Jost

      it's exactly the opposite for me, I have a few songs on my phone and maybe an audiobook, but why do they give me a 2.5k display and then not enough room to store a few hd videos?

      • jacob

        because almost no one has legal copies of HD videos to load onto a tablet.

        • jwtsonga

          yeah i think pirated hd movies can be compressed to like 1GB lol

        • John O’Connor

          call me almost no one. if you buy movies that include a digital copy (me, like many people) you have plenty of legitimate movies to put on your tablet. Not to mention apps such as Flixster and even Google Play movies gives you the option to cache/download the movie to your device for later playback, which is great if you will not be in reliable coverage areas to stream.

          I still stick by my earlier posts concerning the sizes of game apps and media content. There are many reasons for larger storage, whether that is expandable microsd or internal - 16gb of non-upgradable or no expandable memory is shameful in this day and age. 32gb has better chance of being an all-around daily driver and 64gb can put it on par with iDevices for the media hounds and app junkies out there.

    • http://www.nhaines.com/ Nathan Haines

      The Samsung Galaxy Nexus has a removable battery. You have to remove it to get to the SIM card slot for starters...

    • neowiz73

      The galaxy Nexus also has 32gb of space to dump stuff. I flash custom roms almost weekly plus have 8 gigs of music on it lots of clutter I need to remove and I still have 15gb of space left. I don't see the need for a micro sd card slot. And it has a removable battery.

  • KreeTerry

    Since im on verizon and an official release is months away, i wonder when this will be released to AOSP? id love to try this bad boy out!!!

    • jordanjay29

      Give it about six weeks to two months, that's historically about how long it'll take. After that, until it trickles into OEM and custom ROM code, anywhere from a few days to a year. Hope you're rooted!

      • KreeTerry

        Oh very much rooted, and have been since I got the phone in January. Can't wait to give this a try!!!

  • Zak Taccardi

    Can you long press a quick settings icon to open up the corresponding settings option for it? For example, long press the Wi-Fi toggle to open up the Wi-Fi settings, like you can do with CM10

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      Great question - I love that about CM. We'll find out soon enough once 4.2 comes out or we get the N4 review unit.

    • jordanjay29

      It looks like the settings screen for the individual assets will be opened on pressing the corresponding icon, it won't just act as a toggle. Whether that's a good or bad thing in the long run remains to be seen.

      • Faust

        It might be for some and others maybe not. As for the Wi-Fi I can see how bringing it to the setting menu immediately would be preferred because of which signal you want to choose. As for things like Flashlight or screen brightness it would probably be automatic.

        • Justin Swanson

          I disagree, I only connect to a few wifi signals (most of the time) and I would want it to toggle one and connect rather than bring up the whole settings page.

          • crankyd00d

            That's you, personally I switch between my 2 WiFi bands all the time so this will come in handy

        • http://twitter.com/navjotbatra Navjot

          Having a shortcut to the wifi settings rather than a wifi toggle is pretty much useless. It would take the same amount of taps to get to wifi settings by going directly to settings rather than using quick settings (tap the settings icon, tap on the wifi settings - or tap on the quick settings icon, then tap on the wifi icon).

          • mola2alex

            Exactly, I'm disappointed in it not being a toggle. It actually takes 1 extra step now to toggle WiFi by using 'quick' settings (vs ICS)

  • https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.ootpapps.saving.made.simple&feature Out of the Park Apps

    This IS innovation.

  • Martin Nilsson

    So one finger for notifications and two fingers for quick settings. Let's see what three (and four and five and...)fingers brings in the future then!

    • Faust

      Its funny you say that considering that in the Pre-4.2 configuration files there was code depicting more quick action areas that can be added in the future. The QS area was just the first one implemented!

      So its very possible we can see something like this in the near future, whether it be AOSP, or from Google themselves!

    • jordanjay29

      As a former G1-owner, I say yes, bring back the three-finger salute! ;)

    • http://twitter.com/navjotbatra Navjot

      This is kinda unrelated, but in 4.2 a 3 finger double tap will zoom in the entire screen.

    • Dan

      Next step should be two fingers, but only one of them swiping. Easier than trying to fit three fingers on a 4" screen. After that, differentiate between left-swipe-right-stationary and right-swipe-left-stationary for two different functions.

      • Freak4Dell

        Don't worry. Instead of the obvious solution that you suggested, manufacturers will just make 6" screens to solve that problem.

  • Faust

    I wonder if this can be customized or not? It would be a bummer if the QS Menu was fixed and would not let you add your own preferred QS action toggles.


  • adam austin

    LG manufacturer's phone makes me feel sad inside and I can't help but get images of MetroPCS in my head. *shiver*

  • Dima Aryeh

    Too bad they aren't toggles but just shortcuts to menus. Kinda ruins it IMO.

    • Freak4Dell

      Wait, really? That blows, if true.

      • Dima Aryeh

        It is, it was shown off in one of the videos. Don't remember which.

        • Freak4Dell

          Hmm...I need to find that video. I guess I can't give up custom ROMs after all.

          • Dima Aryeh

            Not quite yet, my friend, not quite yet

          • mola2alex

            I can confirm

  • fodiman

    Does anybody know when will we get the factory images? And havent they made a video of yesterdays event?

    • selonmoi

      Yesterday's event was cancelled due to Hurricane Sandy. It was apparently replaced with some Blogger posts and these exclusives with The Verge.

  • Laborin_HK

    At this rate, there are less and less reasons for me to go a custom rom...

  • Mark Arpon

    Anyone else who thinks the quick toggles button is a little too close to the clear all notifications button? Seems quite easy to accidentally press the clear all button. :(

  • http://twitter.com/jfgen Jorge Encarnação

    Love the video and I keep liking the Nexus program more and more.

    This Nexus stuff is making me wonder if I should cancel my One X + pre order. I love HTC handsets and I like the One X + better as a whole. But the Nexus program is tempting me (specially after trying it with the Nexus 7) and the fact of the One x+ only bringing 1ghz or ram make me think that it might not be as slick running a future version of Android in one year from now. Any ideas?

  • Nick281051

    This has pretty much convinced me that I want a nexus 4

  • mola2alex

    Is it it just me but are these quick settings not so quick? First, the Bluetooth and WiFi are not toggles but really shortcuts to the config pages. In ICS, you swipe, hit settings, toggle WiFi. In the new 'quick' methods, you swipe, press to flip, hit WiFi, then toggle. You have added a step to toggle. Sure you could 2 finger swype but then you end up with the same number of steps so it is no quicker. In addition, my N7 just got the update and it works like tablet meaning half is for notification shade and other is non quick settings. In portrait mode this sucks since they overlap so you need to swipe half the screen. On a N7, portrait mode really should have the phone implementation. I like the ideas here but some improvements are welcome.