Back in Android 9, Google took away the expanding mini menu for Bluetooth connections. As it used to be, you could long press the Bluetooth switch in your Quick Settings, then the panel would turn into a quick-access menu for Bluetooth settings. It was a pretty small feature, but dropping it has made it a lot harder to switch between your various Bluetooth accessories.
While it doesn’t replicate this feature perfectly, a new app from developer Tomas Hadraba now makes switching between Bluetooth accessories even easier. Instead of swiping down to open the Quick Settings panel, then long-pressing the Bluetooth switch and selecting an accessory, you can now change the active connection by simply tapping a button on your home screen.
Install Bluetooth Audio Device Widget
To get started, open your Play Store app, search for ‘Bluetooth audio device widget’, then install the app that matches the screenshot below. You can also just go to the following link from your phone or any browser where you are logged in with your Google account and click “Install” from there.
Step 2: Grant permissions
When you first open the app, you will be greeted by an installation guide explaining the available features. Read through these four pages and tap “Next” after the first three, then “Done” at the last.
Once you get to the app’s main menu, you will be prompted to allow the app to access your location. This is only necessary if one of the accessories you want to switch between is a set of Apple AirPods. If so, tap “Always Allow” in the next popup. On newer Android versions, you must first tap “Allow in Settings” in the popup before selecting “Always Allow”.
Another permission you may want to enable is the ability to run in the background. This makes the app faster and more reliable at the expense of a small battery life. To do this, open your Settings app and use the search function to find the “Optimize battery usage” menu. Select “All” from the drop-down menu at the top of the screen, then turn off the “Bluetooth Audio Widget” switch.
Step 3: Configure the widget
Now the app will automatically populate a list of Bluetooth accessories that you have connected to in the past. Future Bluetooth connections will also appear at the top of this menu. Here you can select an accessory and then tap “Change Icon” to edit the name and appearance of the button on your home screen.
You can also choose to enable a Quick Settings tile that will launch this app quickly, hide the device name in the widget, or even have the Bluetooth app turn off automatically when you turn off a device. More importantly, when you scroll down, you have the option to set a default volume for each device and even select a media app to open automatically when you tap one of the widgets.
Step 4: Add the widget
Once you’ve configured the low-level app settings to your liking, go to your home screen and long press on an empty space (i.e., an area with no icons or widgets). Then choose “Widgets” from the menu that appears, then scroll through the list to find the “Bluetooth Audio Widget”. Long press and drag it to a spot on your home screen, release it and you will be asked to select a device. Repeat this process for any other accessories you want to easily switch between.
Step 5: Enable Bluetooth connections 1 tap
Now that your quick connect widgets have been added, just tap the device you want to use and your phone will automatically connect to it when it’s in range. Then when you want to switch to another accessory, just press the widget and you’re done with one tap!
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