We've been using Android Q for a few months already, but we're still coming across some minor and unexpected changes in our favorite OS. Take for example the Quick Settings and notification area. It was redesigned from Oreo to Pie, then again from Pie to Q, and one of those changes involves a few invisible, but very confusing, shortcuts.

In the Quick Settings area in Q, there are two to four tap targets, depending on content. They work both when the Quick Settings area is collapsed or expanded, but they're clearer to first understand when you look at the expanded one.

Left: Android Q Quick Settings when collapsed. Right: Expanded - notice the network indicator.

Two elements are always clickable. The time on the top left leads you to the Clock app, and the part on top of the toggles on the right takes you to the Network & Internet page in Settings.

The first one is logical, the second makes no sense at all when the Quick Settings are collapsed: you're tapping on the battery to go to the network settings. To understand why, expand and you'll notice that the battery gets replaced by the network signal and operator name. So you may be clicking on something, but it's what's underneath it that's the real shortcut.

Right side can show phone volume and upcoming alarms, and take you to the corresponding apps.

The other two shortcuts depend on whether or not your phone is set to vibrate/mute or if you have an upcoming alarm. This time, tapping on the area above the toggles toward the left — where you see the date when collapsed or the volume/alarm when expanded — takes you to the Clock app and/or the Sound settings. It all varies depending on whether you have both things showing up, only one, or none. The confusing part is that when the Quick Settings are collapsed, you'd be clicking on the date to go to the Clock app or the empty space next to it to go to the sound settings.

If you're thinking this is confusing and laughably unintuitive, you're absolutely right. The tap targets for the shortcuts should be disabled when Quick Settings are collapsed (or at least should match the things you're tapping on). It's only when the area is expanded that the shortcuts make sense and that should the only configuration where they're active.

Android Q Beta 5 removes these confusing shortcuts in the unexpanded Quick Settings. They're still there when expanded, which makes sense because they do what they're supposed to there.

  • Thanks:
  • Armando