Landscape Mode May Finally Be Usable on Android 15

Android 15 improvements to landscape mode
In Short
  • Android 15 is preparing to add an improved Lock Screen and Notifications panel experience in landscape mode.
  • This could solve the current notification panel in landscape mode, which doesn't efficiently utilize the space.
  • The improved UI will offer room for elements like the brightness slider and profile switcher, among other things.

Android 15 came out in public beta earlier last month, and we’ve already seen a ton of new features since. These include Notification Cooldown, app archiving, audio sharing for connected devices, and more. While we’re yet to see a major UI change on Android 15, it looks like Google is upgrading the landscape mode experience on the lock screen and notifications panel.

Android hasn’t supported landscape mode on the lock screen until now. That could change as Google is preparing a new lock screen UI for when your phone is in landscape orientation. The upcoming change will also affect the Notifications panel in landscape mode to make it utilize the space more efficiently.

Lockscreen landscape
Image Courtesy: Mishaal Rahman

On Android 14, swiping down to open the notifications panel in landscape mode shows four Quick Settings tiles. All notifications are shown in the middle of the screen, leaving the space on either side unused. This meant, there was no room for the QS edit button, brightness slider, and profile selector. This forced users to switch to vertical mode to access these controls.

Android expert Mishaal Rahman (via Android Authority) was able to access Android 15’s upcoming landscape mode on the lock screen and notifications panel. Here’s what the notifications panel looks like (before and after) in landscape mode on an unlocked device.

Android previous landscape modeAndroid latest landscape mode-2

You can see that the notifications have moved to the right and are no longer tied to the QS panel. The power menu, settings shortcut, profile switcher, brightness slider, and active app buttons are all back alongside the pencil icon to edit add, or remove Quick Settings tiles. There are also four QS tiles visible instead of two. The new menu is still not completely ready. It has bugs that Google will probably fix before the stable Android 15 release.

This isn’t something to write home about because custom UIs such as Nothing OS, Oxygen OS, and all the major UIs have had better landscape notification layouts for years now, some have had it since their inception. If anything, this change has been overdue for years, and we’re glad Google is finally addressing the same. Google is also testing a way to shift At a Glance to the bottom of the home screen, so it’s clear that we could see more UI changes in future Android releases.

What are your thoughts about Android’s upcoming landscape mode changes? Let us know in the comments below.

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