Android 13 lets app developers promote their own quick settings tiles

A great tool for discovering new features or a future source of spam?


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Google introduced the Quick Settings panel to Android nearly a decade ago with the release of 4.2 Jelly Bean, and there have been many evolutions over the years since. Despite opening up the API to custom tiles in Android 7.0 Nougat, app developers struggled to get users to add third-party tiles to the Quick Settings panel. With Android 13, Google is looking to streamline the experience so users have the ability to discover new tiles and use their apps more.

New Quick Parameter Placement API offers developers an easy and consistent way to advertise thumbnails. When an app calls the API, it generates a notification to encourage users to add the tile directly to their quick settings panel.

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Notifications will always contain the name of the app, along with a label and icon provided by the app. If users choose to add a thumbnail, they are presented with a newly designed interface that facilitates quick thumbnail insertion. It’s much shorter than going through the tedious steps of opening the quick settings panel, opening the editor mode, and then dragging the thumbnail into position. This prevents users from leaving their current application or doing too many steps.

When a tile placement notification is denied, Android imposes a rate limit to prevent apps from abusing the Placement API to spam users with notifications.

The new API introduces a few potentially beneficial workflows for applications. For starters, it makes custom tiles more convenient and practical. Apps will be able to generate a thumbnail tailored to a user’s specifications and then produce a placement notification that allows the user to instantly insert the thumbnail without searching for it in a long list. Additionally, apps can now respond to certain events by suggesting a tile if it meets a common user need.


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