How to use the new Wi-Fi and Bluetooth quick settings in Android 5.1

android 5.1 quick settings
Credit: Derek Walter

Android 5.1 is out now for Nexus devices, and on the way for other phones. It features two helpful tweaks to the way you connect to Wi-Fi networks and Bluetooth devices.

When you swipe down with two fingers to access the quick settings panel, you’ll notice the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth buttons now have small arrows underneath them. 

android 5.1 toggles

The available Wi-Fi networks and your Bluetooth devices can now be accessed from toggle buttons in the quick settings menu.

These are linked to a pop-up menu. With Wi-Fi, touch it and you’ll get a list of the available Wi-Fi networks in range. Just touch the one you want to switch to and your device will change over to that network.

It works a little differently with Bluetooth. Touching the arrow brings up only the devices that you’ve previously set up for pairing. In order to connect to a new device, you’ll need to touch More Settings. This section displays all Bluetooth-enabled devices that are nearby. You’ll need to go to this extra step is pairing a device for the first time.

This distinction make sense, as connecting to a new Wi-Fi network is pretty common, especially when you’re visiting a coffee shop or at a conference. Bluetooth pairing is a more exhaustive process, so it’s best to hide unfamiliar devices deeper in the settings.

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