Bartender Lite = A More Useful Android Notification Bar

One of the most under utilized parts of an Android phone is the notification bar. While it is useful for alerting you of emails, calendar appointments and SMS messages. The Android navigation bar can do so much more.

Previously on Make Tech Easier,  we showed you how to put a reminder note in your Android notification bar. If you are looking for more uses for your Android notification bar, Bartender lite will let you create application shortcuts in your notification bar.


Start by scanning this QR code or by visiting this link from your Android phone to download Bartender Lite.


How to add an application shortcut

Once the application is installed, you will need to open it from your application drawer. When the application opens, you will see a screen with only a few choices. Adding an application or shortcut is pretty straightforward.You will need to press the + Item button.


A screen will pop up asking what kind of item you want to add. This screen is very similar to the one you see when you are adding a shortcut to one of your home screens.


For this example, I will add an application shortcut. So when Application is selected, you will see a list of all the installed applications on your device. I chose Google Maps.


If you want to add more applications to your notification bar, repeat these steps. Here is what it looks like with a few shortcuts added in the Android notification bar.


Rearranging the shortcuts

When you have everything added to your android notification bar, you may find that you use one application more than another. If you want to move the application up in the order, you can do so from the Bartender Lite screen.

Next to each of the shortcuts, there is an X along with an DOWN and UP button. If you would like to delete a notification bar shortcut, you can press the X. To move the application up on the list, press UP. To move an application down on the list, press DOWN.


Possible uses

Because you are accessing preinstalled shortcuts, you can easily personalize the shortcuts according to your needs.You could set it up for:

  • Most called or messaged people
  • Maps and directions for a trip
  • Apps you need to toggle on and off frequently
  • Media players
  • Dropbox folders you access a lot
  • Browser bookmarks
  • Quick access to multiple Gmail labels
  • Various settings for your phone functions


While many people may be asking why take up space with an application that isn’t much different than adding more icons to a home page, I think it is more about how you’re using your phone. I tend to use the same applications repeatedly.

I have several applications and shortcuts in my Go Launcher Ex dock. I don’t like to have too many home screens to scroll through (I use 3 home screens), so having quick access to a couple shortcuts in my notification bar is extremely useful. I do not need to add a whole page or rearrange my screens to accommodate a couple new shortcuts.

How do you keep your home screens organized?

image credit: Lee Coursey

Trevor Dobrygoski Trevor Dobrygoski

Trevor is a freelance writer covering topics ranging from the Android OS to free web and desktop applications. When he is not writing about mobile productivity, He is coaching and playing the world's greatest game... Soccer.