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Android P feature spotlight: USB menu gets revamped, lets you transfer files and charge a connected device simultaneously
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The USB connection menu in Android P is getting a revamp. Gone is the small pop-up overlay and instead there's a fullscreen menu that introduces a few visual and functional changes.
First, there's an area at the top that shows what the USB connection is doing, so you can see what it's being used for. Second, USB tethering is easily accessible here, instead of having to delve in Hotspot and tethering. Third, and for some inexplicable reason, the interface now uses toggles and separates File Transfer from the other options.
Left: Android Oreo. Middle & right: Android P.
So sure, you're more likely to use File Transfer than any of the rest, but the UI makes it look like you can turn on File Transfer and turn on any of the other modes at the same time. Truth is only "Charging connected device" can be enabled at the same time as "File Transfer." That's new and it makes sense maybe when you connect to another phone and want to charge it and transfer files to it. If you try to turn on any of the other modes like USB Tethering, File Transfer gets toggled off.
Also, if you're wondering whether the settings stick when you disconnect and reconnect, the answer is no. So it's a toggle, but it's a momentary one, and the options all get reset back when you disconnect. Overall, small improvements in function, but I can't comprehend the design decision behind the "Use" and "Also use" section separation. I also want stock Android to finally allow File Transfer to be turned on by default instead of enabling it each time. As far as I remember, Samsung let me do that.
- Jordi Gordillo Ramos