Google explains the reasoning behind Android 12’s Internet Quick Settings tile
Android 12 has a ton of visual changes, the biggest of which is Material You. Material You’s dynamic colors feature makes use of monet, a new theme engine introduced in Android 12 — and currently exclusive to Pixel phones — to extract colors from your wallpaper and generate a rich palette of pastel colors. Apps can then apply these colors to their UIs in various ways, which is what apps that incorporate Material You typically do. However, other aspects of Material You include a redesigned quick settings menu, and in particular, a rather controversial change to the Internet quick settings tile was introduced.
— Mishaal Rahman (@MishaalRahman) October 26, 2021
To switch off your Wi-Fi on an Android 12 device, tapping the internet quick settings tile will bring you to another menu where you can toggle your mobile data, your Wi-Fi, or select another Wi-Fi network. If I’m honest, I personally do prefer this change over what it once was, but I can understand the frustration thanks to the introduction of an extra button tap. From my own experience, I feel that it makes sense for Wi-Fi and mobile data to be under the same umbrella.
adb shell settings put secure sysui_qs_tiles "$(settings get secure sysui_qs_tiles),wifi"
There’s also a Tasker project to bring back the Wi-Fi quick toggle. It adds a “Turn Off Wifi” toggle in Quick Settings, which lets you easily turn Wi-Fi on or off with a single tap like before. Additionally, you can long-press the toggle to open Android 12’s new Internet panel to see all of your Wi-Fi networks and mobile data in one place. Furthermore, you can double-tap the toggle to open up the Internet settings.
Google gave the following explanation as to why this change was made in Android 12:
With this new design, you can quickly switch between Wi-Fi and Cellular connections by just selecting your cell network from the new Internet Panel. From our user studies, we found that the majority of users turn off Wi-Fi in order to force their phone to connect to cellular. This is usually done in response to a poor Wi-Fi connection and the lack of an alternative way to get the phone to explicitly connect to the user’s carrier. Users who turn off Wi-Fi will often forget to turn Wi-Fi back on again, resulting in possible excess mobile data usage. Our research showed that this has been a pain point for users, so we made the decision to address it with this release. With the changes we’re making, users who have Wi-Fi connection issues can simply switch over to using their carrier with two quick taps. In our user research studies, long-time Android users acknowledged that the change took some time to get used to, but once they did, they found the Panel to be a more intuitive and straightforward way for users to solve their Wi-Fi connectivity issues, while reducing user error and unintended consequences.
The company also announced that a future Pixel feature drop will re-introduce the ability to access your internet settings from the lockscreen without unlocking your smartphone.