How to Use Pie Control On Your Android

Get a slide out menu with access to your favorite apps and settings

Pie Control is a free Android app that lets you set up hidden menus that pop out of the corners and/or sides of your device that you can fill with whatever you want, giving you instant access to your favorite actions whenever you like.

For example, if you’re always opening the Chrome browser, your mail app, and a few of the same websites, and like to disable Wi-Fi when you leave the house, just add a button for each and then slide your finger to pull out the menu and quickly select whatever you need.

Pie Control Android app example screenshots

The directions below should apply no matter who made your Android phone: Samsung, Google, Huawei, Xiaomi, etc.

How to Get the Pie Control App

Pie Control is a free app available from the Google Play Store, so you don't have to root your device or worry about setting up the Xposed Framework just to get the cool menus.

The app is free for the most part and probably doesn't need to be upgraded for most people, but there are some options that you can’t use unless you pay for the premium version. More on that below.

What You Can Do With Pie Control

You have full control over how you want your menus to look. Here are some of the things you can do with Pie Control:

  • Launch any installed app
  • Execute shortcuts that can dial a specific contact, start directions to a pre-set location, text a particular contact, open a Tasker task, start a music playlist, and more
  • Activate various tools and toggle different Android device settings; for example, control the volume, disable/enable Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, open the camera, see the call log, start voice commands like with Google Assistant, open the keypad to dial a new number, and more
  • Open a URL of your choice that you pre-configure in the app
  • View and create notes
  • Access even more things through folders that can hold all of the above (apps, shortcuts, tools, and website shortcuts)
  • View the clock and a handy battery bar that surrounds the pie menu

All of the above is accessible from the pullout menu, and the Pie Control app is what lets you customize all of it so that you can pick exactly what your pie menu should contain, what color things should be, how large the icons should appear, how much of the screen the menu should take up, what icons to use for the apps in the menu (you can install icon sets), how many columns folders should have, etc.

Pie Control isn’t limited to just one menu. Not only can the side/bottom menu be different than the menu pulled out from the corners of the screen, but each launcher also has multiple levels that make up the pie-like menu, and each option within each level can hold a long-press option so that every slice of the pie can have two functions.

Pie Control Premium

The premium version of Pie Control gives you a few more features if you need them, but the free edition is still highly usable as-is.

Purchasing Pie Control Premium lets you unlock all three levels and buttons for the side and corner menu.

You should try the free version at full capacity to really see if you need to purchase the other features. Here's what the free edition can do in regards to the premium-only features:

  • The side/bottom menu supports three levels, but only the first and half of the second are free (20 total buttons). No other buttons (the other 30) or remaining levels can be added unless you pay.
  • Only the first level of the corner menu can hold buttons (there are six) unless you pay to unlock the other two levels (to get 24 more buttons).

Choose Premium wherever you see it to buy Pie Control Premium.

Here are some screenshots of Pie Control, along with instructions on using the app:

Main Pie Control Menu

There are three primary tabs along the top of Pie Control let you switch between those options. Corner and Side are really similar, but are for manipulating the menus that come out of the corner or side of the screen. These are described below.

Pie Control menus in the Android app

In the Etc tab is where you'll find the option to pause the app and a shortcut to turn off battery optimization.

Adjusting Area Options in Pie Control

After selecting Corner or Side from the main menu, choose Active Area to adjust how the menu is accessed.

Pie Control active areas options

As you can see from the colored edge preview on the left of the screenshots above, the side menu is quite thin, until the Weight measurement is adjusted. This makes it easier to "grab" the menu because it's thicker (right screenshot).

You could just ask easily adjust these other options. For example, setting Size to a higher figure for the side menu would let it reach closer to the top and bottom of the device. In turn, you could swipe from basically anywhere on that side to invoke the menu.

The Position of this menu is set to the middle, which means that since this is for the side menu, it's positioned directly in the center of the side of the screen and can be opened when sliding in a finger from anywhere in that area. If you made the size small and the position all the way to one side, you'd end up with a very small area to pull the menu from, which you might like if you want to avoid triggering it accidentally.

You can change these settings to be whatever you want, and if you scroll down a bit further, you can see that the left, right, and bottom menu can all be unique sizes and positioned on the screen differently.

Adding Buttons to Levels in Pie Control

Pie Control separates buttons into different layers, called Levels. Levels are broken up into buttons that, when pressed, will open whatever it is the button is set to. Within each button is also a sub-button that's only usable if you long-press on the primary button.

Pie Control level options on Android

Level 1 is closest to the center of the menu. That is, closest to the side, bottom, or corner of the screen (depending on the menu you're using). Buttons added here are in the innermost part of the circle.

Level 2 and Level 3 are subsequently further from the center of the menu and reach more into the center of the screen.

Some Level 2 button, and all Level 3 buttons, aren't supported in the free version of the app.

To change what the Pie Control buttons actually do, tap inside the button number and level you're interested in editing. Once you do that, you can pick from any of the following, each having their own set of options:

  • Apps: Pick any installed app that you want to have as a button in your menu.
  • Tools: Options in here include search, voice command, dial, call log, contacts, notepad, camera, volume, take screenshot, power menu, home, screen lock, and more.
  • Shortcuts: Use this to put a shortcut to any of these things in your menu: add reminder, add task, calendar shortcut, direct message, directions, new Google Doc, friend's location, Gmail label, traffic, and lots more, depending on the apps you have on your device.
  • Folder: If you want your button to take you to a folder you've made (see below), then use this option.
  • Web: Use this to make a button that opens a URL of your choice.

The bottom options you see in our example from above (Lifewire and Keep Notes) is the long-select option that's only accessible in the menu when you press and hold down the primary function (Chrome or 23andMe, in our example).

Long-select options are identical to the single-select ones, with the only difference being how they're accessed in your menu.

Folders and Web Links

Editing folders and web links is possible only after you select one of those options.

Android Pie Control web and folder options

For example, you can see in this screenshot that if you go in to add a link or folder, you'll see a list of your existing selections, plus an edit button to modify those things.

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