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Android 12s moved smart home controls have people (rightly) upset

Android 12 Beta 2 had many major changes, including the rollout of the new dynamic theme system, but a minor tweak has many fans in the arms. In Android 11, Google rolled out smart home controls in the redesigned power menu, but Android 12 Beta 2 resets all that and moves those controls to a Samsung-style quick setting mode. For those who got used to or even preferred the older, faster and easier power menu shortcut, this is, to put it mildly, an unpopular feature.

In case you are not aware of the change, last year Google rolled out a new version of the power menu in Android 11 that appears when you hold down the power button for a long time. In addition to the long-standing options to turn off or restart the phone, we got a whole new category of controls for smart home gadgets (plus access to contactless payments).

Left: Jippi. Right: Why?

A literally simple tap from any screen in Android 11 took you to a menu where you could adjust smart home lighting or thermostat or whatever. It was very convenient and one of Android 11’s killer features, but Google has apparently decided that it was a bit also convenient.

Android 12 Beta 2 resets this, hides smart home controls behind a quick-setting tile that takes 1-2 swipes and a push to access, and turns the power menu back from a powerful handy tool to a missed opportunity.

Android 12 (left) apparently takes 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 particularly whimsical on Google’s part, given that we only just got the power menu controls last year.

An error has even been filed in Google’s Issue Tracker, the star game of 104 people at the time of writing, although Google does not often respond well to public pressure regarding individual features like this. Nevertheless, the perception of the change seems more negative than positive almost everywhere, including the AP comments section on related coverage.

It’s still possible that Google can reset the change before Android 12 rolls out to stable or find another way to accommodate it, but I would not plan that.

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