One good reason to upgrade your Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 to version 5.1.1 of the Android operating system, better known as Lollipop, is the updated Notifications screen. You can still open the Notifications screen as you did with Android 4.4 (KitKat), but you’ll notice the screen includes some new features and changes.
This article takes you on a grand tour of the Notifications screen so you can use it to get quick access to settings and find important information quickly. Note that if you want to learn more about all the updates and changes that come with Lollipop, read the “Upgrading the Galaxy Tab 4 to Lollipop and Touring the New Lollipop Features” article on the Que Publishing website (http://www.quepublishing.com).
Open the Notifications screen by tapping and holding on the top edge of the screen and then swiping down. You can see parts of the screen you were on, which in this example is the main Home screen, darkened so you can focus on the Notifications screen features shown in Figure 1.
Figure 1. The darkened main home screen appears on the left and right sides of the Notifications screen.
The Notifications screen is divided into two sections:
- The light blue Notification panel at the top of the screen contains the current date and time, setting icons, quick settings button row, and a screen brightness slider bar.
- A list of notifications appears underneath the Notification panel. Each notification is contained within a white tile. Notifications are listed from the most recent notification at the top of the list to the oldest notification at the bottom.
View and Change Settings
Three setting icons appear in the upper-right corner of the Notification window, from left to right: Change User, Settings, and Change View.
Change the user of the Tab 4 by tapping the Change User icon, which looks like a silhouette of a smiling person’s head. The Change User window appears on the screen (see Figure 2) so you can select the user account that you want using the Tab 4. The defaults are your current user name and Guest.
After you select the user account, the Tab 4 applies the settings, permissions, and restrictions associated with that account and displays the Lock screen so you can log into the Tab 4 using your account.
Figure 2. The blue Change User window appears at the top of the screen.
Tap Settings to open the Users settings list in the Settings screen and then either select a new account from the list or add a new user. If you decide against changing the user, return to the Notifications screen by tapping Done.
View and Change Settings
If you need to change settings and you don’t want to close the Notifications screen to tap the Settings icon in the Apps screen, just tap the Settings icon in the Notifications screen. (The icon looks like a cog you saw in Figure 1.) Note that after you open the Settings app, the Notification screen closes. You can open the Notifications screen while you’re in the Settings screen by tapping and holding on the top edge of the screen and then swiping down.
If you want to close the Settings screen, you can do so as you would if you opened the Settings app from the Apps screen. That is, tap the Recent touch button, tap and hold on the Settings app tile, and then swipe to the left or right.
By default, the quick setting button row you saw in Figure 1 contains 10 buttons for features you can turn on an off, such as Bluetooth. However, the Notifications screen only shows six of those buttons. You can view the remaining four buttons by swiping from left to right within the feature button row.
You can view just the setting icons and all the quick setting buttons by tapping the Change View icon. This icon looks like a tile with three squares and a bi-directional arrow in it. After you tap the icon, the list of all quick setting buttons appears as shown in Figure 3.
Figure 3. The Change View window appears at the top of the screen and displays 12 quick settings you can turn on or off.
The bottom of the Notification Panel settings list on the right side of the screen shows the Active Buttons and Available Buttons boxes as shown in Figure 4. Swipe down in the Notification Panel settings list to view the Available Buttons box in its entirety.
Figure 4. The Active Buttons box appears above the Available Buttons box.
The Active Buttons box is completely filled with 10 quick settings buttons shown in Figure 4. If you want to remove an active button from the list so you can add another button from the Available Buttons list, tap and hold on the button tile within the Active Buttons list and then drag the tile to the gray area within the Available Buttons box.
You’ll see the space available for a button as a gray area within the Active Buttons box. Move a button from the Available Buttons box to the Active Buttons box by tapping and holding on the button tile in the Available Buttons box and then dragging the tile to the gray area within the Active Buttons box.
When you’re finished moving buttons, return to the Change View window by tapping the Back touch button. View the entire Notifications screen by tapping the List icon in the upper right corner of the window that you saw in Figure 3.
Turn Quick Settings On and Off
You can turn quick settings on and off in Lollipop just as you did in KitKat. Quick settings that are currently turned on have buttons with green icons in them. If a setting is not on, the button icon has a light blue color. Turn on a quick setting by tapping the appropriate button; the button icon color turns green. Turn off a quick setting by tapping a button with a green icon; the button icon color turns light blue.
View Recommended Apps
By default, the Tab 4 will show recommended apps in the Notifications screen that you may want to use after you perform a certain action. For example, when you connect earphones you’ll see music-related app suggestions in the notifications list.
If you want to turn this option off, tap the Change View icon to open the Change View window and then tap the Edit icon as you learned to do earlier in this article. Next, slide the Recommended Apps slider button from right (on) to left (off) as shown in Figure 5.
Figure 5. The Recommended Apps setting appears below the Brightness Adjustment setting on the right side of the Settings screen.
You can turn this feature on again by sliding the slider button from left (off) to right (on). Return to the Change View window by tapping the Back touch button.
Change Screen Brightness
You can change the brightness level of the screen by tapping and holding on the Brightness slider button and then swiping your finger left and right to darken and brighten the screen, respectively. As you move the slider button, the Notifications screen disappears with the exception of the slider bar (see Figure 6). The screen darkens and brightens as you swipe the slider button to the left and right, respectively.
Figure 6. The brightness slider appears in a blue box near the top of the screen.
When you release your finger, the Notifications screen reappears. If you want to change the brightness to the automatic level, tap the Auto check box. The brightness on the screen automatically changes to reflect the Auto brightness level.
If you don’t want to adjust the brightness level in the Notification level, you can do this from the Settings screen. Start by tapping the Change View icon to open the Change View window and then tap the Edit icon as you learned to do earlier in this article. In the Settings window, tap the check box within the Brightness Adjustment setting as you saw in Figure 5.
The check box is cleared and the next time you view the Notifications screen, you won’t see the Brightness slider. You can turn on the Brightness slider in the Notification screen again by opening the Change View window, tapping the Edit icon in the window, and then tapping the check box to the right of the Brightness Adjustment setting. The check box turns green and contains a white check mark as you saw in Figure 5.
Each notification tile contains the most important information in the header (it’s in large, bold text) and supplemental information appears underneath the header. For example, one of the notifications in Figure 7 tells you how many apps have been updated in the header and several names of installed apps appears underneath the header.
Figure 7. The 12 Updated Applications notification tile appears at the bottom of the list, and the Clear option appears below and to the right of the tile.
If there are too many notifications to fit on the screen, swipe up and down within the notifications list to view the notification tiles at the bottom of the list. You can delete all the notifications from the list by tapping the CLEAR option that appears below and to the right of the bottom tile in the list.
You can tap on the notification to open the app associated with the notification. For example, if the Google Play Store has installed a new app, the Play Store app opens so you can see the apps you have installed on the Tab 4.
Some notifications disappear when the process associated with the notification is completed. For example, a notification appears while the Tab 4 installs an app. Once the app has installed, the notification tile disappears automatically.
Other notifications that are important enough to view every time you view the Notifications screen appear at the top of the Notifications list. These persistent notifications don’t disappear when you clear the notifications list. In Figure 7, the “Connected as a media device” notification appears at the top of the list and doesn’t disappear after you tap CLEAR. This notification appears because I have the Tab 4 connected to my computer with the USB cable supplied with the Tab 4.
What’s more, the next time you open the Notifications screen, the CLEAR option doesn’t appear below the persistent notification. As with any other notification, you can tap the persistent notification tile to open the app associated with the notification.
The only way you can remove a persistent notification from the list is to remove the condition that caused the notification to appear. In the case of the “Connected as a media device” notification, I need to disconnect the USB cable from the Tab 4 to the computer. Once the Tab 4 recognizes the USB cable is not connected, the notification disappears from the list. If there are no other notifications in the list after the persistent notification disappears, the Notifications window closes automatically.
Now that you have a complete understanding of how to use the Notifications screen in Lollipop, enjoy using the screen every day to get up to date information and gain access to important features and settings quickly on your Tab 4.