The OnePlus 7 Pro strikes a great balance between brilliant hardware and price. Value proposition aside, what really ties the phone together is the software. Oxygen OS takes the ethos of stock Android while adding in just the right amount of features. The fact that the phone ships with no added bloat further adds to the appeal.
Earlier this month, in our briefing with Szymon Kopec, Product Lead at OnePlus, we learned that this will be the first time that Oxygen OS is being forked out into a region specific ROM. Developed predominantly at the company’s Hyderabad R&D center in India, it points towards how important the country is becoming for the brand. With a 33% share of the premium smartphone market, OnePlus ranks as one of the largest players in the high-end smartphone segment in the country. The dual phone strategy with the OnePlus 7 and 7 Pro is bound to help increase that further.
With India being one of the most crucial markets for the company, OnePlus is adding a few additional features to the software build for India. Here are all the Oxygen OS features that will be exclusive to OnePlus phones in India.
Work Life Balance
Building on the idea of maintaining equilibrium between living in the moment and spending time on your phone, the new work-life balance mode helps you segregate your office life from your personal time. Completely customizable, the app will let you define when you are at work and when not.
Based on the set parameters, only select apps will be able to reach out to you with notifications. The app can be used to cut away from personal social networking apps during the day. There’s a hint of gamification thrown in for good measure with the ability to track the number of hours you’ve spent in work or life mode. In tandem with Zen Mode, it seems that OnePlus is taking concrete steps towards helping users take a digital detox.
Smart SMS app
OnePlus might be a bit late to the game but this is a feature that most users will appreciate. With the upcoming Smart SMS update, the messaging app in Oxygen OS will be able to detect and sort out text messages on the basis of content. Be it movie tickets or hotel reservations, the messenger app will highlight key elements so that you don’t have to rely on the cryptic descriptions found in text confirmations.
We also caught a quick glance at a feature that lets you track packages directly from a text message. OnePlus claims that Smart SMS will work across 39 different content categories. Xiaomi’s MIUI has a very similar feature built in that performs remarkably well. While there are a number of third party apps that can perform this function, it will be great to see it integrated directly into the operating system.
Spam calls are a big enough problem to allow apps like Truecaller to thrive. Now, OnePlus plans to integrate caller identification directly into the phone app. Receiving a call from an unknown number should ideally pop-up an identifier for a local business. According to OnePlus, it will be possible to tag unknown numbers using classifiers like courier, spam, ads and more. Will the phone app upload contact tags and details to the cloud? That remains to be seen and we’ll know more once the update rolls out.
In our briefing with OnePlus, the company didn’t share a lot of information about this feature but it promises to be particularly useful to international travelers. Integrated into the settings menu, you’ll be able to activate affordable international roaming plans without having to switch out SIM cards or relying on your operator’s expensive international roaming data options.
We suspect that this feature will be similar to Mi Roaming on Xiaomi phones. The services uses a virtual SIM that essentially takes over the second SIM slot of the phone and lets you connect to local operators while traveling. With the number of affordable roaming plans available these days, success for OnePlus Roaming will depend entirely on how cost-effective the plans are.
Cricket is almost a religion in India and the latest update adds a neat feature to woo that audience. OnePlus phones have a shelf feature integrated into the leftmost pane on the homescreen. This single shelf can display memos, car parking location, icon shortcuts and very soon, the latest cricket scores. The company is partnering with ESPNCricInfo to pull in the current scores for live matches.
We’ve been told to expect an OTA update in June with all the latest features designed for India. Alongside the OnePlus 7 and 7 Pro, the OnePlus 6 and 6T will also be receiving the features as an update.
What are your thoughts on OnePlus building a custom ROM for India? Would you rather have them stay as close to stock as possible or do you like the new MIUI like approach of building a very unique flavor of Android? Let us know in the comments section.
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