One of more useful additions from Android 11 is the new control center for connected devices that appears every time you press and hold the power button on your phone. Have you seen that thing yet? By default, it has commands for smart lights and other connected devices associated with your phone and / or Google account, but with a little tweaking, you can extend it to include controls for just about anything your curious wet brain can do. cook.
You may want to add a simpler shortcut to enable the split screen feature now pretty much buried by Android, for example. You may want to implement a one-touch link to a specific section of the system settings. Or you may want to create a time-saving tile that you can tap to compose a specific pre-written email or text message to send on the go – maybe thank you for a customer meeting or a send «moving» message to a colleague or partner (maybe even with your location attached!). The options are virtually limitless.
Best of all? In fact, it’s pretty easy to do, at least once you have the right tool and know how to use it.
Part I: Creating new commands from the Android 11 power menu
Let’s not get carried away: the tool in question is a classic application called for advanced Android users Tasker . Now the correct warning: Tasker does many different things and it can be more than a little overwhelming to understand and navigate.
However, this specific part of customization is relatively straightforward, especially if you follow this step-by-step guide.
- Install Tasker on your favorite Android phone, a step I hope to be obvious, but hey, we will not skip anything!
- Open the app and tap the Tasks tab at the top.
- Touch the plus circular icon in the lower right corner of the screen, then type a title for any type of command you want to add. This is what will appear inside the button when I’m done. (And by the way, you don’t feel any pressure to think of something brilliant right now. You can always type a random text, even a stupid one, if you feel particularly naughty, then turn around and move on. Late.. )
- Tap the plus icon in the lower right corner of the screen below, then navigate through the available actions to find the desired command.
Let’s stop to consider some specific examples, the same possibilities we talked about a minute ago, in fact:
- If you want to create an easier way to turn Android split screen control on and off, select the «Application» option category and then tap «Split screen switch.»
- If you want to create a shortcut to a specific area of system settings, select the «Settings» category of options followed by the specific settings section you want: «Accessibility settings», «Notification settings», «Wireless settings» even «Developer settings» if you’re crazy enough to enable this. Then, one more step you may not realize you need: tap the plus circular icon again, tap «Enter», then tap «Back Button». This will add a side effect that will make this function work properly.
- If you want to create a one-touch button that will allow you to compose a new text message that says «On the go!» and includes the coordinates of your current location, which you can send to anyone you request, tap ‘Phone’ followed by ‘Dial SMS’, then type ¡ On the road! % LOC in the «Message» field. (You can change that text to whatever you want, of course – «Hey, hey, I’m on my way»; «Hey, on my way, okay? Yes!»; «On my way, Mommy! Arr!»; Etc.)
- If you want to create a one-touch button that allows you to send a pre-written email to anyone you select, tap «Network» followed by «Compose email» and then type in any «stupid heart» you want in «Subject» and «Message» fields.
No matter what action or actions you choose, once you’ve set everything up on that face, all you have to do is tap the back arrow icon in the upper left corner of the screen. twice to return to the Tasker main menu and make sure everything is saved.
And now we’re ready to move to Android’s real power menu to find freshly made fragrant creations and add them to the right place.
Part II: Add new commands to the Android 11 power menu
Take a deep breath, my dear: I’m almost done. (Breathing is also a good thing to do from time to time.)
With all that preparation work behind us, it’s time to head to that powerful Android 11 menu, full of the potential to bring these shiny new kids into their new cozy home. This is probably a good time to mention, as a reminder, that this will only work if you’re using a phone running Android 11 (again, I’d like to hope it’s obvious, but – well, you know) and also a phone where the manufacturer has not completely bypassed the new excellent control center of the connected device in a move meant to highlight its own money-generating services at the price of its user experience (hello, Samsung owner friends!).
Do you understand? He understands. Okay, here’s all that’s left:
- Press and hold the power button on your phone for a few seconds. He whispers «Come on, come on, gadget menu!» To make you feel cooler, if that’s your job.
- When you see a new fancy control center appear, tap the three-point menu icon in the upper right corner.
- Select «Add controls», then select «View other applications» followed by «Tasker».
You should be able to select any or all of the custom commands you have created:
And after you press the Save button, they will be there and ready to go.
From there, you can switch between custom Tasker commands and standard Android device-connected commands by tapping the down arrow next to the word «Tasker.»
Not bad, is it?
Oh, and one more thing: if you want to take it a step further, I have some tips for optimizing that power menu and removing some of the default clutter from this collection of recommended changes for Android 11 .
Try not to make your friends who have an iPhone too jealous, okay? They still feel pretty good about themselves magical powers Yes revolutionaries of home screen customization newly discovered (a possibility that was totally disappointing and useless until last summer, of course), and well, they don’t know what hurt them. .