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Android 12’s relocated smart home controls have people (rightfully) upset


Android 12 Beta 2 had lots of big changes, including the rollout of the new dynamic theming system, but a smaller tweak has plenty of fans up in arms. In Android 11, Google rolled out smart home controls in the redesigned power menu, but Android 12 Beta 2 is reverting all that, relocating those controls to a Samsung-style quick settings toggle. For those that got used to or even preferred the older, faster, and simpler power menu shortcut, this is an unpopular move, to say the least.

In case you’re unfamiliar with the change, last year Google rolled out a new version of the power menu in Android 11 that appears when long-pressing the power button. Alongside the long-standing options to turn the phone off or restart it, we got a whole new category of controls for smart home gadgets (plus access to contactless payments).

Android 12's relocated smart home controls have people (rightfully) upset 2

Left: Yay. Right: Why?

A literal single press from any screen in Android 11 took you to a menu where you could adjust your smart home lighting or thermostat or whatever. It was hugely convenient and one of Android 11’s killer features, but Google has apparently decided it was a little too convenient.

Android 12 Beta 2 reverts this, hiding smart home controls behind a quick settings tile that takes 1-2 swipes and a tap to access, turning the power menu back from a powerfully convenient tool into a missed opportunity.

 Android 12's relocated smart home controls have people (rightfully) upset 3 Android 12's relocated smart home controls have people (rightfully) upset 4

Android 12 (left) is apparently taking a page from Samsung’s book (right).

Power menu smart home fans — including Tasker’s João Dias, XDA Developer’s Mishaal Raman, and most of us here at Android Police — are against the change, which seems especially capricious on Google’s part considering we only just got the power menu controls last year.

A bug has even been filed in Google’s Issue Tracker, starred by 104 people at the time of writing, though Google doesn’t often respond well to public pressure regarding individual features like this. Still, perception of the change seems more negative than positive pretty much everywhere, including the AP comments section on related coverage.

It’s still possible that Google might revert the change before Android 12 rolls out to stable or find another way to accommodate it, but I wouldn’t plan around that.

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