OnePlus is on track to deliver Android 8.0 Oreo to its flagship users by Q1 2018. Open Beta 1 was released for the 5T in late December, and we just received Open Beta 2. But this update isn't just tweaks and bug fixes, OnePlus has included a few new features to enhance the Android experience.
With Open Beta 2, OnePlus 5T users are one step closer to an official release of Android Oreo. OnePlus did include some under-the-hood performance improvements, but we wanted to highlight the features most users will notice. The full changelog can be found here for those who want to know all the details, but here are some of the cooler aspects that users will enjoy.
A few weeks back, OnePlus announced a new app called OnePlus Switch to help new users move their data from any smartphone running Android to a OnePlus smartphone. As long as the device is running Android 6.0 Marshmallow or higher, after installing OnePlus Switch on the device, you can use a QR code to pair the devices and choose which items to transfer.
OnePlus decided to make this step easier by including the Switch app with Open Beta 2. Now switching to a 5T is even easier, as one step of the transfer just got eliminated. All users need to do is install OnePlus Switch on their old device, scan the QR code, then transfer their data.
With Android Oreo, Google improved the functionality of clipboard by allowing the system to recognize what is being highlighted. Depending on the text, it will show options such as a button to open the dialer when highlighting a phone number, or a button to open Maps when highlighting an address. These options are in addition to the standard cut/copy/paste.
OnePlus decided to take this one step further by expanding the available options once text is copied. After copying text, a clipboard icon will show along the right edge of your display which, when selected, will present three additional options — Search, Translate, or Share. "Search" will conduct a Google search for the word. "Translate" will open Google Translate and translate the word, while "Share" will allow you to share the text via the various apps installed on your device.
Much like Google's version of this feature, the available options change based on the type of text you highlight. For example, an address will change "Search" to "Open Map," while a phone number will replace "Translate" and "Search" with "Dial."
When you receive an incoming call, typically Android alerts you with a phone number or the contact name and picture (if stored on your phone). OnePlus decided to expand on this by including the location of the caller as well.
This is helpful when avoiding spam calls as they sometimes originate from states you are not located in. Besides that, it provides additional information to help users make an informed decision on whether to answer a call.
Open Beta 2 updates the OnePlus Launcher to v2.3, and with it comes improved stability and new features. One of the cooler features is auto-tagging of folders.
When creating a new folder, Launcher will name the folder based on the apps added to the folder. For example, when I created a folder with two email clients, Launcher named the folder "Tools."
I personally love this feature, as I create a lot of folders and forget to name them. While the tags are typically generic, they are modifiable.
Oxygen OS provides a great balance for users. True, it's technically a skin, but it adds useful features while remaining close to stock. Which feature are you enjoying the most with the new Open Beta 2? What feature do you hope OnePlus adds to the next update? Let us know in the comments below.
Oh... and if you're working from home these days, be sure to check out Gadget Hacks' Working-From-Home Essentials.