If there's one thing that keeps changing across different Android versions, it's the notifications and quick settings drop-down. Google can't seem to make up its mind about which way works better and N's latest changes to quick settings are a testament to that. While the new customization options are the most prominent modification, there's another one worth looking at and it affects how you go into the detailed settings of each quick settings item.
You might recall a drop-down arrow in Lollipop 5.1 and Marshmallow for the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth icons, but that's gone in N. Instead, you can long tap on any icon and you'll be taken to its settings.
There's a new version of Android on the horizon, and you know what that means: users complaining that their devices aren't included in the developer preview. But it also means that the Quick Settings menu is getting some interface changes, and there are quite a few tweaks in the new N builds. Now when users pull down the notification shade, they're first greeted with a single row of minimalized settings icons, which can be accessed without pulling down the shade twice as in Marshmallow.
Lurking in the developer options of the Android M dev preview is something called System UI Tuner. It's not a very descriptive name, but if you back out to the main system settings, you'll see it listed at the bottom. Open it up and you can customize the Quick Settings finally. It's something most Android OEMs have been doing for years.
When Lollipop 5.0 first launched, it brought with it an interesting set of dynamic Quick Settings toggles. Drop down your notification shade and you could see the usual culprits like WiFi and Bluetooth, but a few toggles were hidden unless they were triggered once, like WiFi Hotspot or Invert Colors. The problem, however, was that once these showed up, they were there to stay ... at least for one month if you never touched them again. Then we found out that you could force them to disappear by setting your date forward a month, then back.
That (not so) cool hack must have annoyed a few Googlers because Android 5.1 introduces a more orthodox way to solve the problem: simply long-press on a dynamic tile and you get the option to hide it until you trigger it again from the settings.
Despite its appearance on Android One devices, we've had complete radio silence from Google about Android 5.1. Still, as long as it is in the wild, we're going to keep hearing about it. In this case, we have found out that the animation associated with toggling the auto-rotate feature has come back in 5.1 after disappearing in 5.0. Take a look.
This might not exactly change the way you use your Android phone or tablet, but it's nice. Google has done some big talking about being more of a design-focused company, which means the minutiae like this have to be important.
We managed to snag confirmation of the upcoming 5.1 update to Lollipop just a few hours ago, but our tipster has already found one of the more obvious changes to the user interface. Google has tweaked the behavior of the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth settings toggles/widgets from the Lollipop Quick Settings menu to allow users to connect to networks or devices without going into the full-page settings menu.
If that's a little confusing, here's how it works right now: when you lower the notification shade to the Quick Settings menu, you can either toggle Wi-Fi or Bluetooth on or off by tapping their respective icons, or tap the word "Wi-Fi" or "Bluetooth" instead to go to their respective menu pages.
Google made a lot of interesting changes in its Quick Settings and Notifications drawer in Android Lollipop. One of these is the addition of dynamic toggles that don't clutter the drawer for everyone, but only appear once a user activates the corresponding option from Settings. This applies for example to the Hostpot and Invert Colors toggles. The problem is that once these toggles attach to your Quick Settings, there doesn't seem to be a way to make them go away, even when you switch the action back off.
User eak125 on Reddit tried to figure out if there was a timer attached to this behavior or if the toggle would be permanently stuck in the drawer.
Not all new features are created equal, and this particular change has us kind of scratching our heads wondering why Google would consider it a good idea. In Lollipop, you can now access your quick settings straight from the lockscreen. This way you can toggle Wi-Fi, cellular data, and Bluetooth without unlocking the device, even if it's secured behind a passphrase.
A couple of the more popular aftermarket additions to Android have been added in Lollipop's pull-down Quick Settings menu. If you regularly flash a custom ROM or add in a widget from the Play Store for easy access to a battery percentage readout or a flashlight (camera LED) toggle, well, you won't need to in Android 5.0. Both of those functions are available in Quick Settings, as seen on the latest Lollipop Developer Preview on the Nexus 5.
If you haven't played with Android 5.0 yet, one of the more visible interface changes is the new combined notification drawer/Quick Settings menu.
Android 5.0 brings with it a big redesign of the notification and Quick Settings area, but there was a seemingly odd quirk in the first developer preview. You could see the notifications when Quick Settings was open, but you couldn't interact. Now you can.