Ivan covers Big Tech, India, policy, AI, security, platforms, and apps for TNW. That's one heck of a mixed bag. He likes to say "Bleh." Ivan covers Big Tech, India, policy, AI, security, platforms, and apps for TNW. That's one heck of a mixed bag. He likes to say "Bleh."
OnePlus recently released their new flagship, the OnePlus 7 Pro. With that, it shipped Oxygen OS 9.5, which is based on Android 9.0. It has quite a few interesting features, including a 20-minute lockdown mode, a new “gaming mode,” and a screen recording tool.
Once I started using this feature, I wondered why it wasn’t in all phones. You can activate this from the notification tray, and hit record whenever you’re ready.
This feature gives you an ability to record internal audio or the audio from the microphone. This is quite handy when you’re recording gameplay.
This is one intriguing implementations of digital wellness in a smartphone I’ve seen till now. It locks your phone down for 20 minutes, and urges you to enjoy your surroundings. It doesn’t let you use any application except for the camera, and all notifications are off by default. You can still receive calls, or dial an emergency number.
Here’s the kicker: You can’t disable this mode till the 20 minutes are over, which is a bit aggressive, but it certainly forces you to concentrate somewhere else. I used this mode with the OnePlus 7 Pro for a few times, and I found it quite useful.
OnePlus phones have had gaming mode for a couple of years. But the company claims that this new mode – developed in partnership with eSports firm Fnatic – ups the ante. It introduces features like advanced DND (Do Not Disturb) that blocks all calls and notifications and disables the second SIM for enhanced network performance.
Fnatic mode also restricts background app activities for enhanced CPU throughput. I personally didn’t notice any major performance boost, but this mode is useful if you want to have a gaming session without disturbance.
Smart SMS app and caller identification (India specific)
OnePlus always introduces some features geared towards its biggest market, India. This year it’s trying to tackle the spam caller problem with caller identification. This feature can also identify calls from some legit businesses like OnePlus support.
The company has also introduced an updated SMS app which segregates personal, transactional, and promotional messages. It also lets you copy One Time Passwords (OTPs) directly via the notification. This update is due to arrive in sometime in June.
There are some other global features like Screenshot editor, and replying to IMs directly from the notification in the offing, but they’re just an extension of what Android natively offers.
For Indian customers, OnePlus is introducing live cricket scores through a widget, and work-life balance – which lets you set different notification profiles for work and life – features through an update expected to be released in June.
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