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8 things you didn’t know your OnePlus phone could do

OnePlus has built a serious base of loyal followers over the years, and for good reason. Traditionally, its phones have offered an excellent software experience, with high-performing hardware, at a lower price than the competition. This year, the competition is fiercer than ever, but the OnePlus 9 series still manages to offer a solid experience overall.

But no matter how into OnePlus phones you are, it’s unlikely you can learn everything about your device. The Android operating system is filled with features, and when you add OnePlus tweaks on top of that, you have pretty robust software.

Interested in learning more about your OnePlus phone? Here are eight things that you didn’t know your OnePlus phone could do.

Screen-off gestures

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You can launch apps without even having to turn on your screen with screen-off gestures. Screen-off gestures on OxygenOS allow you to quickly launch apps or shortcuts by drawing the shape of a letter on the display without the display being on. For example, you could draw the letter “O” to open the camera app. It’s a pretty neat feature, and particularly comes in handy for apps that you use regularly.

To access screen-off gestures, head to the Settings app, then tap Buttons & Gestures > Quick Gestures. You’ll be able to select different shortcuts or apps for different letter shapes if you so choose.

Parallel Apps

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Have multiple accounts on an app that only allows you to be logged in to one account at a time? While most big social media networks allow you to log in to multiple accounts, some still don’t — and that’s where Parallel Apps come in. Parallel Apps basically allows you to install multiple instances of an app on your phone, which you can then log in to with different accounts.

To use Parallel Apps, head to the Settings app, then navigate to Utilities > Parallel Apps. You’ll then be able to turn on Parallel Apps for compatible apps. Not all apps are supported, though — it’s mostly limited to social media apps.

App Locker

Sometimes, you might want to add an extra layer of protection for certain apps. App Locker allows you to do that. With App Locker, you can select which apps require a fingerprint or PIN code to be entered for access. Any app can be added to the list.

To enable App Locker, head to the Settings app, then navigate to Utilities > App Locker. You’ll be prompted to enter your PIN, after which you can select which apps you want locked and whether your phone should hide notification content.

Hidden Space

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The Hidden Space is another great tool that helps users restrict access to certain apps. Unlike the App Locker, Hidden Space allows you to hide the app icons altogether, meaning that those without the password won’t even know that certain apps are installed.

To use Hidden Space, simply open the App Drawer and slide from the left to the right of the display. You’ll get a brief explainer of what Hidden Space is along with the ability to put apps in it.

Quick Launch

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Do you usually open the same app or apps when you turn on your phone? Quick Launch helps cut down on the time it take to get to those apps. With Quick Launch, you can quickly access apps or shortcuts from your phone by long-pressing on the fingerprint scanner to unlock your phone. You’ll be able to swipe between shortcuts to access different ones too, which can come in handy.

To turn on Quick Launch, head to the Settings app, then head to Utilities > Quick Launch. You’ll be able to select which apps and shortcuts are accessible through Quick Launch.

Hide the hole-punch

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I’ve gotten used to notches and hole-punch cutouts. So much so that I don’t even mind the iPhone’s huge notch if it means I get to keep Face ID. But if you’re one of those people who would prefer a forehead to a cutout, you can create the illusion of a forehead on your OnePlus phone.

To do so, open the Settings app, then head to Display > Advanced > Front Camera Display Area. You can then choose to hide the front camera if you want to.

Game to the max

Do you regularly use your phone for mobile gaming? You may prefer to keep your phone on Do Not Disturb when you game so that you don’t get interrupted. The OnePlus Games app can help you do so, plus you can enable or disable settings to automatically put calls on speaker when you’re gaming, to only show game app icons in the Games app, and so on. It’s worth poking around in the settings of the Games app if you game a lot — there are a ton of settings to check out.

Using the OnePlus shelf

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The OnePlus shelf has been demoted from the left of the home screen, where the much better suited Google Discover feed now lives. But it still lives on as part of OxygenOS in general. Now, to access it, you can swipe down from your home screen. Turns out, when it’s not replacing another useful feature, it can actually come in handy.

By default, on the Shelf you’ll get the ability to quickly see the weather, open often-used apps, see how many steps you’ve taken, and so on. Hit the settings icon on the top right of the display, however, and you can edit the apps and features to your liking.

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