Part of the 5000 new APIs and many small enhancements to be introduced with Android L that were revealed in a heavily packed slide at Google I/O is rotation lock on phones. That nifty Quick Setting toggle is currently only available on tablets in KitKat. On our stock Android phones, we have had to suffer the annoyance of delving into settings or using some third-party widget to lock the screen's orientation. Not anymore.


With L, whenever you are using your phone in bed or moving it around but don't want the screen to rotate with every little motion detected by the accelerometer, you will be able to lock it in portrait or landscape. Another enhancement compared to the current implementation on KitKat is that it will tell you which orientation it is set to, instead of simply switching to "Rotation Locked."


Obviously, you can simply look at your screen to see whether the app is in portrait or landscape, but this visual cue might come in handy in apps that override the default behavior and only have one orientation, like the launcher.

You can see the toggle in action in the video below. Small addition, big difference.

Rita El Khoury
Rita is a pharmacist by profession, a geek by passion. Her love story with Android started in 2009 and has been going stronger with every update, device, tip, app, and game. She lives in Lebanon, speaks three languages, and watches a lot of TV series.

  • Renan Lazarotto

    Never noticed it wasn't avaliable for phones...

    • Halin

      You could add it with Xposed, but it wasn't there.

      • Renan Lazarotto

        I don't use xposed and think I'll never will. The language support for my language is very poor and I feel VERY unconfortable with partially-translated apps.

        • Halin

          Use it in english or help to translate it :P

          • Renan Lazarotto

            If I could find all the links to help the translation, I would do it. But I have to work (like pretty much everybody else) and I'm also in college after work. So I got pretty much no time to help.

      • Wall Breaker

        or you can just use an app like everything else for years now.

        power toggles - https://play.google.com/store/...

        • pfmiller

          It's not the same. The setting belongs in the Quick Settings, not cluttering up my notifications.

  • Dunkin Donuts

    What about the toggles for WiFi? I was hoping that they would include the multipurpose tile toggles that are in Paranoid Android. A very nifty little feature

    • Renan Lazarotto

      Have you tried to hold the tile? I can toggle wifi just by holding it for a second

      • Dunkin Donuts

        Nope I have not. I guess I will look into it

        • Renan Lazarotto

          It works for bluetooth and location toggle aswell... At least on my Moto X is works like this ;)

          • DrakeTungsten

            Works on my N4. Wow, I never knew that, cool!

          • Nomaan

            Lol really?

        • Fatal1ty_93_RUS

          It was there since forever

      • grumpyfuzz

        I don't think that's what he's talking about... In PA, there is an icon in the top right of the wifi tile. If you press it, you can toggle wifi hotspot on and off. That's what he means by "multipurpose" tile.

        • Renan Lazarotto

          that would be nice to have on stock. but since all the custom roms for moto x don't have touchless commands, they're all a no-go to me.

  • ram

    Any flashlight toggle?

    • Sergio

      Yeah, it was one of the first things I did after installing xposed

    • guest

      Just use a custom rom or xposed :)

      • siddude11

        Xposed is the worst thing happened to android. Killed Stock experience.

      • bL4Ck

        whatever anyone asks, xposed is the answer.

        • alexcue

          Or else it's "You can do that with Tasker".

      • http://blake.pm Blake Mitchell

        Lowly Blackberry has put a flashlight toggle in their drop down. Surely someone at Google could figure out to put it in so we can do it without xposed.



      • xposay

        Does xposed run on ART?

    • Bobby

      Clean master has toggle in pull down

    • Guest who

      Kit kat launcher has it so does clean master no need to root or flash

    • mma173

      IMHO, Google should have created API through which custom toggles could be added. Something similar to Dashclock Addons.

  • MikeJwF

    Most of the ROMs I've ever used have had it. If not all.

    • Andrew

      Yeah really! I started reading this and I was like....what?? That wasn't actually a stock feature before??? Didn't even know that.

      • Nicktrance

        Same here xD.

      • Barry Gilpin

        I thought it was part of stock as well. CM has had it forever and I assumed it was part of AOSP. Learn something every day.

    • matt

      Yeah literally every single ROM since jb has had it

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

      Because ROMs are built by people with common sense. But even the Android team members we spoke to were surprised and seemingly baffled it wasn't there before.

      • pfmiller

        WTF, do they all use iPhones or something?? How could they not notice this for several years?

  • Midnight Rocket

    Is that a multiuser icon in the top right? That's new for phones right?

    • Brad

      Probably just the same as your g+ picture now...

  • Christopher

    The Dialler app looks like it's the same icon as 4.4.3 instead of the new L one... So no new dialler in this dev preview?

    • matteventu

      Also all the gapps are probably in the current version on the Play Store... (Gmail for example)

    • Nomaan

      Watch engadgets video... they have shown some UI changes.

  • Stefan van Manen

    Network mode title too please. Oh yeah and flashlight + sound modes title while were at it.

  • Raf

    About time!
    This was actually one of the main reasons I'm running Cyanogenmod... I'll be flashing back to stock come fall :D

    • matteventu

      You can use stock + Xposed lol

      • Tyler Shivers

        If that ever gets art support

        • matteventu

          I mean now, instead of Cyanogen Mod :)

          • Walkop

            You can still use ART now, and it IS much faster.

    • Wall Breaker

      You call yourself an android user? There are Tons of Apps for this kind of Stuff without having to root or flash roms.

      power toggles is one of those apps - https://play.google.com/store/...

      • Raf

        I like the toggles on a separate pulldown not above the notifications. Cyanogenmod's pull down on the right side of the screen for toggles is ideal I think.

  • Xaber

    OMG, Unbelivabaal, Good bye GravityBox

  • tonylee427

    animation looks good

  • Sam Del Valle

    Battery Percentage on L? That'd be nice

  • Michael Germany

    My note 3 has this option in the drop down notification bar as well as the wifi toggle

    • Akshay Mehta

      If i'm not wrong samsung devices had this toggle since forever.

    • alfuen00

      Samsung touchwiz maybe is horrible for all the geeks in specialized blogs, but for normal not tech people is easy and simple, and yes this toggles are in Samsung phones from gingerbread, hahahaha

  • Nasko Hristov

    THIS!!!! I have been missing this since its introduction back to 2012.

  • Teun G

    Still waiting for the battery % in the statusbar. Was hoping it was coming to Android L

    • toss

      yeah i'll die if they don't add that

    • Zak Taccardi

      I used to agree with you, but after saving time and going stock, not having the battery percentage in the status bar has freed me from constantly freaking out about my battery

    • http://blake.pm Blake Mitchell

      I used to feel the same way but then I realized that it caused me to stress and agonize over every percent unnecessarily. I stopped using percent batteries and my life is better because of it. Also, no percent looks cleaner.

      • PhilNelwyn

        The way they implemented it in KitKat is the best to me, you just see it when you really need to: when the battery level is low.

      • Dan W

        it'd still be nice to have it as an option. Isn't that why we all went with Android to begin with?

        • http://blake.pm Blake Mitchell

          I don't disagree with that. Just giving my 2 cents on it.

    • Matthew Skalecki

      It's not going to happen. Google wants the statusbar to be as free from distractions as possible. Eliminating the traffic indicators on the WiFi icon cemented the Faye if battery percentages.

      Frankly, Google is making the correct choice here. Knowing the exact battery percentage is almost never actually useful, and having the number slowly drop in the statusbar is a distraction. Peaking into the quick notification tray is a great compromise of the need to know and the need to not obsess.

      • Trysta

        I disagree. First, have you seen the android status bar on most phones? Compared to iOS it is certainly not what I'd call distraction free (not complaining. I like it that way).

        Having the battery percentage is always useful. Imagine if instead of a digital clock in the status bar you had an analogue one with no numbers just tiny hands that gave you a rough approximation of the time. I would argue that is more frustrating because it doesn't give you precise information you are obviously seeking when you look at the icon. Why include the icon at all if i need to look somewhere else to get the information i am seeking?!

        But luckily 3rd party apps provide very easy fixes for this issue so it hasn't really bothered me.

        • Wall Breaker

          i agree, most apps offer custom toggles for notifications but it is annoying having 2 battery icons just to get your battery levels.

      • MattE303

        no, they're not making the correct choice, giving user's the OPTION is the correct choice. Being able to display the percentage is a necessary tool when you're trying to diagnose battery issues. I understand those who want to turn it off because they find themselves obsessing over it, but when you need this information it should be available in the status bar as an option.

        Taking choices away from users because they "know better" is Apple thinking, I hate seeing Google go that direction too.

        • Matthew Skalecki

          Google doesn't do user customization of UI element appearance in Android. They're pretty good about giving third-party software first-class status and allowing customization that way, but having the user choose the battery-indicator style would be very unusual for Google.

          • kgptzac

            Google not allowing users to choose is not the correct choice regardless of what 3rd party developers do. Do you know that you need to root your device to change the battery icon/wifi indicator?

            This also extends to your definition of "distraction". To people who want battery percentage, which if you look at OEM customization, is a lot. If people find it as useful information, then by definition it is not distraction. Here's an example of distraction: people have alarms every day find the alarm icon to be a distraction because it provides no useful information; same goes for the NFC icon.

            Like it or not, Google is taking cues from OEM customization, and some of them make it to stock Android.

  • Nick

    why dont you guys check the build number and click 5 times to see the egg?

  • WORPspeed

    Does this come with a landscape homescreen on phones?
    Like it looks when connecting through HDMI with a TV?

  • Sergio

    It would be nice if it tracked your eyes to autorotate

  • NaNNy

    And what about battery %?!?! cmon google...

  • Dennis Ulijn

    Is there also an indication on the right side of the status bar?

  • Martim

    Just so we aren't using any double standards, iOS has had this for at least 4 years :p

    • SyncV2

      I don't know why Google was so lazy to add it. I mean, I only use it when I'm lying in be on my side, but still, weird.

  • http://danielbrierton.ie Daniel Brierton

    And with that, my one and only one reason to use Closed is gone. About time Google.

    Now... Just give me a Nexus 4 dev preview too. Please!

  • skitchbeatz

    praise Duarte

  • DanSan

    wait this was never a stock functionality?.... god i've been using custom roms for far too long lol

  • alexg

    It's shameful that it took this long for them to figure out that the auto rotate quick option is used 99% of the time, the other are options are practically useless.

  • Simon Belmont

    There's that cast screen icon again. I'm guessing they're just going to make that a shortcut to mirroring your screen with Chromecast feature that's coming soon?

    I know it also works with Miracast, but there's no reason it can't be used for both. Can't wait to test out the L release.

  • GeekPrateek

    The images and video here are recorded with a Oneplus One. :P

  • InfDaMarvel

    I'm just here relaxing running Cyanogen-mod look for some relevant news. Wheres my updates to Hangouts.

  • Trysta

    Thank god! I have rotation lock enabled 99% of the time but i want to be able to unlock it quickly when i am watching youtube etc.

    Now if they could just provide a way to clear all apps from multitasking at once (not for memory reasons but for ease of use) I will be all set!

  • http://twitter.com/yo2boy_ yo2boy

    Looks like I'll still have to use PowerToggles.

  • Pascal

    Finally, I use gravitybox for that now. But it's relly important when you are lying in bed.

  • Jorge Ivan Sanchez Gonzalez

    I just want to know how the notifications looks like in the notificatiom center.

  • Ryan O’Neill

    There's 3 quick settings that relate to notifications. I know what Airplane Mode does, but what are the other 2 for??


    CM is the answer to everything

  • jeffhesser

    I kind of like using the rotation lock in my launcher as apposed to system wide. I like that my home screen is locked but if I open a video or whatever that it can still go landscape.

  • zeoxzy

    My xperia z2 already has this!?

    • Humberto Hernandez

      Not stock android, so, your argument is invalid.

      PD: My custom rom has it, still, not an argument.

  • Wall Breaker

    Power toggles app puts custom toggles in notifications drop down and has been around for years now.

    Glad tis built in, but it was never a hassle.

  • Wall Breaker

    These Comments Sound Like a Bunch of Android Noobs.

    Apps to fix these issues have been around for years, not rooting required.


  • Jason Brown

    custom roms ftw!

  • pani

    huh? it's not available for phones? man, i need to stop using so many custom roms, i had no idea o:

  • David Anderton

    hope it allows landscape homescreen and app drawer

  • http://www.pricingindia.in/ Vikas Rathee
  • moh

    I just got my Android 5.0 update on my Nexus 5, but the rotation feature in the quick settings isn't there. What might be the problem, or are they going to release a fix update?