Subscribe / Unsubscribe Enewsletters | Login | Register

Pencil Banner

The best apps with custom Quick Settings tiles in Android Nougat

Derek Walter | Dec. 13, 2016
Android 7.0 lets developers add quick settings tiles, and Shazam, Todoist, and a whole host of others have jumped on board.

The Nougat Quick Settings tiles are one of the most useful—but easily overlooked—tools in Android. App developers have the ability to build in a button or toggle for their app right into the ever-present quick settings shade, so you can make use of the app without even launching it.

This gives you one-touch access to a specific action or a toggle to enable or disable a feature. It helps break the cycle of leaping from one app to another or navigating various menus.

While there aren’t necessarily as many apps taking advantage of this as I’d like, there are some good ones you may want to check out. And after playing with this for a while, you’re bound to see the potential.

How it works

When you swipe down with two fingers (or swipe down twice with one finger) you’re presented with the Quick Settings, a series of panels to toggle common functions. This is how you can turn on the flashlight, disable Bluetooth, or toggle the Wi-Fi connection.

quick settings nougat
You have the ability to move around all of those tiles in the Quick Settings.

If you want to change what goes where, touch the pencil icon at the top of the screen. You’ll see some options that perform a specific function, like turning on a wireless hotspot, casting the screen, or enabling enabling Data Saver mode.

Once you install an app that has its own tile, you’ll see it available when you go to edit the menu.

Some options to get you started

There’s a pretty decent collection of apps that have opted to build in a feature inside of the Quick Settings. One of the best implementations is with Shazam, which added an Auto Shazam tile. This turns on the always-listening ability in the music identification service, so you can always find out what’s playing around you with just one tap.

shazam quick settings
Shazam’s button can help you find out what’s playing very quickly.

Something for the more productivity-minded is Todoist, which has an Add task command. When you press it your keyboard will launch and you’ll be able to quickly type out something that needs to get done. 

Spotify lovers will appreciate the tile for Offline mode. You need to have a premium subscription for this feature, which sticks to music that’s saved on your phone.

A few other apps are dipping their toes into the water. Flamingo for Twitter (one of the better third-party Twitter apps) has a button for composing a tweet, which is a logical and rather obvious choice that may come in handy when you want to fire off a quick thought. The official Twitter client should take notes.


1  2  3  Next Page 

Sign up for Computerworld eNewsletters.