How to use the Notification Shade in Android 12

2 months ago 25
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Android 12 is bringing a number of major changes to the way you use the mobile platform. Some are significant, and some subtle. One such change is how you use the Notification Shade.

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I've been using Android since version 2. That maths out at about 10 years, which means many habits are deeply ingrained. One such habit is interacting with the Notification Shade. For the longest time, that interaction has barely changed, with maybe a tweak here and there, in how you interact with notifications. 

SEE: Samsung Galaxy S21 Series: A cheat sheet (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

But as you know, Android 12 has brought along with it some major changes to the UI. Thanks to Material You, Android feels like an entirely new beast. It's more polished, more animated, more performant and modern. One change that will trip up several users out of the gate is how you call up the Notification Shade. 

Prior to Android 12, you simply dragged from the top edge of the display to open the Notification Shade. Pull down twice and you can gain access to the Settings button and the Quick Tiles. This is exactly how we've all used the Shade for years. But when I opted into the Android 12 beta, that all changed. Yes, you drag down to open the shade, but there's a subtle difference, and it'll take some time to shake free from the bonds of muscle memory.

Let me explain this new method. Are you ready for it?

How to open the Notification Shade on Android 12

The difference is simple. Instead of dragging down from the top edge of the screen, you need to start the drag just under the time/date/weather widget (Figure A).

Figure A

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The time/date/weather widget is there to serve as a guide for your Notification interaction.

When you correctly open the Shade this way, your notifications will appear exactly as you expect (only with the fresh coat of paint that comes along with Material You: Figure B).

Figure B

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The new Material You notifications of Android 12.

How to access the Settings button and Quick Tiles

To get to the Settings button and Quick Tiles, you could either drag the notification shade down again (with the notifications already open) or you could go back to the old school method and drag down from the very top of the screen. This action will bypass the Notifications and go straight to the Settings/Quick Tiles shade (Figure C).

Figure C

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Gaining access to the Settings and Quick Tile buttons. 

To recap:

  • Drag down once from below the Date/Time/Weather widget to open the Notification Shade.
  • Drag down once from the top to open the Settings/Quick Tiles Shade.

This is not a massive change, but it's one that will trip you up quite often when you first start using Android 12. I'll be honest, this is one of those changes that caught me off guard quite often. I'd pull down from the top to view my notifications, only to have to dismiss the Settings/Quick Tiles and try again. Hopefully, now that you've been warned, you won't suffer the same frustration as did I.

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