While Android no longer allows for as much deep customization as it formerly did, there are still lots of intriguing modifications you can perform without rooting. One of them includes the unnoticed System UI Tuner tool.
But what exactly is System UI, and how can you take use of it? Let us investigate.
What Is SystemUI on Android?
SystemUI refers to a critical background system process on your Android smartphone. Unless anything goes wrong, it runs when your device boots up and remains in the background while your phone is switched on.
According to Google’s SystemUI ReadMe file, the process is “everything you see on Android that isn’t an app.” SystemUI is responsible for your phone’s lock screen, navigation buttons, status bar, volume dialog, and other features.
If you search through all installed applications on your Android smartphone and include system apps, you’ll most certainly come across multiple items that begin with com.android.systemui. These are all components of the SystemUI process that deal with this critical feature of your device.
What Is the System UI Tuner?
Google includes a secret feature called System UI Tuner in Android 6 Marshmallow and Android 7 Nougat. This enabled you to change a few parts of your phone’s status bar, such as rearranging the Quick Settings tiles (which was previously not possible) and eliminating specific icons from the status bar.
While the System UI Tuner is still available in Android, the previous way of accessing it is no longer available. To reach this menu, you’ll need to utilize an app or ADB commands. Fortunately, installing an app and exploring the various settings in the System UI Tuner is simple—we’ll show you how.
Remember that, like with most Android tutorials, your success will be determined by the manufacturer of your device and the version of Android you are using.
How to Access System UI Tuner on Android
Download the free System UI Tuner app from the Play Store to try out the System UI Tuner on your device. Launching this app will open your phone’s menu, which is its only function.
The following categories are accessible in the System UI Tuner on our Pixel 4 running Android 12:
- Status bar
- Do Not Disturb
- Ambient Display
Please keep in mind that, as stated in the menu, some choices are experimental, and Google may delete them in the future. Use them with caution, and don’t expect anything to last forever.
Let’s take a look at each of them individually to see what you can do with them.
On this page, you may customize which symbols display in your screen’s status bar. The majority of these are turned on by default.
Here’s a short rundown of the alternatives, along with explanations for the ones that aren’t obvious. For additional information, check our explanation of Android’s status bar symbols.
- Auto-rotate screen: When auto-rotate is disabled, an icon appears to warn you. When you connect a headset with a microphone or a solo microphone, an icon appears. Work Profile: Indicates if your device is running a work profile for corporate usage.
- Camera Access: Displays when an app is utilizing your camera, which is a crucial privacy feature.
- Battery: Select Always show percentage, Show percentage while charging, or Do not display this symbol.
- Screen Cast
- Time: Select Display hours, minutes, and seconds; Show hours, minutes, and seconds; or Don’t show this icon.
- Do Not Disturb
- Mobile data
- Airplane Mode
- Display notification symbols for low-priority events: Notifications designated as low priority do not display at the top-left of your screen by default.
- Time: Choose from Show hours, minutes, and seconds; Show hours and minutes; or Don’t show this icon.
- Show low-priority notification icons: By default, notifications you’ve marked as low-priority don’t appear at the top-left of your screen.
It is entirely up to you the choices you modify here. If you often use particular capabilities, such as Bluetooth, and don’t want their icons to take up screen space, this is a simple method to recover it.
Do Not Disturb
Volume buttons shortcut is the only option under this topic, however it’s unclear what it performs. Do Not Disturb mode was enabled in prior versions of Android by holding Volume down when the volume was already at zero. This is not the case with Android 12.
As a consequence, your findings may vary depending on your device. Don’t worry, there are many more methods to regulate Do Not Disturb on Android than this option.
On Android 12, you can still shift between silent, ring, and vibrate modes by tapping the symbol at the top of the volume slider.
Enabling this function on your Android smartphone with an AMOLED screen allows you to view basic information even when the device is not in use. This includes the time and date, current weather, and recent notification icons on our Pixel 12.
While this consumes somewhat more battery power, it is an effective use of AMOLED screen technology, which can switch off all pixels save those in use. It may be used as a bedside clock, to monitor your notifications when your smartphone is on a table, and so on.
At the time of writing, our device’s menu was empty. Although Google’s documentation suggests plugins for this menu, they are intended for developers rather than public usage.
SystemUI plugins may be found elsewhere; use cautious with anything until you know exactly what it does.
Accessing Advanced SystemUI Options
If you liked tinkering with these secret settings and want to take it a step further, try Zachary Wander’s similarly called SystemUI Tuner program. This provides additional possibilities, but you must use ADB to access it (or have a rooted device). As a result, it requires a little more setup, but it is well worth the effort if you want greater personalization. The app will walk you through the steps required to utilize it.
As stated in the app’s cautions, not everything it provides will function on all phones, and altering some settings may create issues. If you do this, proceed with caution.
Advanced Tweaks With the SystemUI Tuner
While SystemUI is a background activity that works without your intervention, the hidden SystemUI Tuner provides useful choices for customizing your phone. Give it a go to get rid of those pesky status bar icons and discover what else is available for your device.
Why not modify some other crucial Android settings on your smartphone for more like this?
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