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OxygenOS has gained a reputation for staying true to normal for stock Android but since then it has developed more of its own personality. That’s not always a bad thing, even though it’s very similar to Samsung’s One UI. Despite the visual transformation, not only has the OnePlus skin retained many of its neat little features, but some recent reports have introduced new tricks to make your life a little easier.
We’ve compiled a list of our favorite features hidden in the various nooks and crannies of OxygenOS.
Swipe up to search apps
With hundreds of apps installed on your phone, using the check bar is the fastest way to open the one you want, but it’s still a multi-step process. OnePlus takes matters a step further by introducing a quick navigation that takes you directly to the app’s drawer search bar. Neat!
As you go up to open the app drawer, hold half way for a split second, and that’s it. The keyboard pops up automatically, waiting for you to start typing in the check bar at the top. It is basically enabled and will work on older OnePlus phones as well. I can’t stress enough how useful and time saving this feature is.
Turn off the motions
Movements seem to be completely taking over our smartphones now, but OnePlus has had something for them long before Google did that. In addition to its own version of full-screen navigation gestures, OxygenOS has the best screen gestures. The basic idea is to draw one-stroke letters on your phone screen when off to take quick action, such as turning on the flashlight or jumping directly to the video recording.
You can even program it to open the app of your choice, though to do that you need to unlock the phone before the app screen will appear. In addition to those, you can also assign each letter to immediately open the rear or front camera. Outside of those alphabetical movements, you get the usual double tap to wake it up along with some unique musical controls. Dragging the pause (||), forward (>), and back (<) images on the closed screen lets you play / stop, jump to the next path, and back to the previous one, in the order sin. It's a great way to control music playback, and it works just as well on streaming apps like Spotify as it does for local players.
Head to the Buttons & gestures section of the Circumstances app, and then click on it Quick movements. That’s where you get the full list of handy and handy lock screen moves.
Getting two settings at the same time from one app you can’t enable on just about any phone, or at least the process of getting there isn’t particularly easy. Technically, you can use the same app on different device profiles, but that’s often too much of a concern for just one or two apps. OnePlus ’OxygenOS is among the small number of mobile skins that natively support the feature, and OnePlus is calling its version apps parallel. People using dual SIM cards to have WhatsApp accounts with both their phone numbers or two instances of an app like Uber could run.
Among the apps I installed on my phone, several social media and communication apps are supported, including Twitter, Telegram, Skype, WhatsApp, and others. Chat services like Uber and Oil India are also listed, along with local mobile wallet Paytm. The usefulness of parallel apps may vary depending on which apps you have on your phone, but it looks like the most popular ones are backed up. the box.
To access your default list of supported apps, you need to tap on the Resources entering Circumstances. Once there, click on it Parallel Apps. Now tap on the app you want to duplicate, but be careful when turning any of them back: it will erase the data of the parallel instance nicely.
Live Caption has been extremely helpful for those with hearing impairments or just about anyone when it is not possible to make a choice. The feature was introduced by Pixel phones, but Google has opened up to other OEMs. OnePlus is one of the very few that has implemented it so far.
In your phone’s size controls, you get an extra button to turn on Live Caption when you need it. A live – and correct – transcript of anything playing will appear on your center screen. It works throughout the device and even when the phone is charged. This is one of the useful features that will make you wonder how you ever lived without it.
In landscape mode.
We’ve all developed muscle memory for that one app that we basically manage for the moment we unlock our phone. You can cut that two-step process down to a single tap using Quick Launch. This feature allows you to select a small list of apps (or even app shortlists) that you use frequently and display them on the lock screen when you keep pressing the fingerprint reader. You can slide through the list and highlight an app, which opens immediately.
Left & Center: Quick launch options, South: Launch quickly
This may look very close to the Screen off moves we talked about earlier, but Quick Launch is different in some basic ways. For one, the latter gets a lot more complicated with all your device apps and their shortcuts, letting you jump straight to in-app activity like inserting a calendar or opens a new incognito tab in Chrome. Plus, Quick Launch definitely feels faster than Screen off gestures, which require two presses for the same task (because the phone needs to be unlocked to launch the app).
As you may have guessed, the feature only works on OnePlus phones with an in-display fingerprint reader, so those using old devices are out of luck. To get to the option, come to Resources into Circumstances and click on it Launch quickly. Then you can enable it and choose from indeed long list of apps and shortcuts on your phone.
Quick response in landscape
Messaging apps, in particular, have a hard time switching to landscape mode, with the keyboard often taking up most of the direct space. They are basically impossible (and kind of harassment) that way. However, OxygenOS has a tool that you can use to get a better chat experience when someone interrupts your YouTube video.
When you hit reply to a notification flag while in landscape mode, your OnePlus phone will open the chat thread in a thumbnail on the left side. An easier-to-handle floating keyboard will appear on the right side, and it gets even better if you have swipe typing capability. This feature works as expected and is something I would like to see on other phones as well.
OnePlus users can enable it from Resources section of the Circumstances app.
Dark mode table
Dark mode on old OnePlus phones followed a heavy process, prompting you to dig deep into the Settings app to make it work. Even worse, this controversial process would even build up to a current topic.
Fortunately, the latest version of OxygenOS has added a much-needed and much more convenient registration feature. You can now either set dark mode to turn on automatically after sunset or punch in your own normal menu. If you still want some manual control, you can add a toggle in the Quick Options menu.
This new registration option can be found under your phone’s display options.
Many phones have recently adopted a special help key – an idea first widely circulated by Samsung for its Bixby voice assistant. But within days of using the button, you will find that it is more tedious than being helpful with all the pressure of an accident. If you are one of those oddballs who want to have a physical key to call Google Assistant, you can do so on your OnePlus phone using the built-in OxygenOS feature (specifically: the Assistant launches by default with the power key on the OnePlus 8 and 8 Pro).
Fo Buttons & gestures, you will find a toggle that allows you to hold down the power key for half a second to open the voice bot. If you turn this on, the power tab will appear on a press three seconds longer (again, except on OnePlus 8 and 8 Pro devices, which allows you to have one or the other). Just above this option, there is another toggle that allows you to double-click the lock key to jump directly into the camera app. It is possible to use both of these features at the same time.
OxygenOS is one jam-packed software skin that won’t feel good with its fun little features. Beyond this short list of cherry selected resources, OxygenOS has a lot more going on. If you think we have missed something that you feel strongly should be on the list, please let us know in the comments.
Even more good stuff
Updated to include the swipe up move to explore apps, Live Caption, quick response in landscape mode, and dark mode recording.
Ryne Hager and Scott Scrivens added to this role.