Samsung’s One UI has largely been acclaimed to be one of the most user-friendly user interfaces. Although One UI is the successor of the maligned TouchWiz and Samsung Experience, it has a different reputation. Samsung smartly designed the user interface in such a way that it prioritizes navigation with a single hand. Therefore, in first-party Samsung apps, user interface elements are moved towards the bottom of the display, instead of being at the top. This is done to ensure one-handed navigation on modern smartphone displays that have large display diagonal sizes and tall aspect ratios. The notification panel and Quick Settings in One UI follows the same UI design philosophy, and it works. What if you don’t have a Samsung phone running One UI, though? Can you still get that one-hand friendly notifications panel? It turns out you can, thanks to an app called One Shade.
One Shade is an app made by Treydev Inc. It acts similar to Power Shade in that it completely replaces an Android phone’s notifications panel with a custom notification panel. The design of the One Shade notifications menu is inspired by the one in One UI. The One Shade version is customizable, however, unlike One UI. One Shade also brings extra utilities that are detailed in the features list below. The developer mentions that users are given a full walk-through for every step to setup the app so that they can change their quick settings. Having a custom ROM or root is not required for the app.
The app’s key feature list is quoted below from the developer’s Play Store listing:
- “Key Features
Full color customization: Take the base layout and color all the elements how you like.
Advanced notifications: Get it, read it, snooze or dismiss.
Advanced music: Dynamic colors based on the currently playing album artwork. You can skip to any part of the track right from the notification’s progress bar.
Quick reply: Reply to your messages as soon as you see them. For all Android devices.
Auto bundled: Tired of that one app that spams you notifications? Now they’re all grouped together, for easy control.
Custom background picture: Pick your favorite image to be displayed in the shade.
Notification card themes: Android 10 inspired.
– Light: your ordinary notifications
– Colored: dynamically uses the notification’s color as the card background.
– Dark: blend all your notifications with a pure black background (great on AMOLED screens).
Quick settings panel
– Choose a different color for the background or foreground (icons) of the quick settings panel.
– Change brightness slider color.
– Useful icons with your current device information
– Choose your own profile picture to be displayed in the shade.
– Choose between a number of tile icon shapes (circle, square, teardrop, gradients and more)
– (Pro) Change quick settings grid layout (ie. number of columns and rows).”
The aforementioned feature list is not exhaustive, according to the developer, as there are more features such as auto-expanding notifications and repositioning of elements where the user wants them to be.
How does One Shade work if it doesn’t require elevated privileges that have to be satisfied either through root or ADB? The answer is that it uses Accessibility Services to achieve its functionality. Accessibility Services are hugely powerful on Android as they can enable innovative experiences, and users wanting to see what kind of experiences they can enable can look through our past coverage. One Shade’s primary source of revenue is ads, but it has premium features as well.
I tried out the app, and it seems to work surprisingly well. The feature set is broad, as you see in the screenshots. The one major negative point is that the developer is using full-page interfering ads that degrade the user experience.
One Shade has an official Telegram group. It can be downloaded from the Play Store below.
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