OnePlus released the beta for their newest OS version, OxygenOS 4, to the public at the end of March. This beta offered the first look at Android 7.1.1 to OnePlus 3 and 3T Users.
A few minutes ago I received a notification to download a system update on my OnePlus 3T. Now it’s ready to install so let’s see what it will do.
Like I mentioned in my post about the Google Assistant arriving to Android 6 and 7 phones, this update to OxygenOS 4 is yet another step closer to making the OnePlus 3T equal to Google’s Pixel but for a fraction of the cost.
The first thing I’ve noticed is the home screen is now a 5 x 5 grid versus a 4 x 5 grid before. Apps still show in a 4 x 5 grid in the app drawer. This also means neither the home screen nor the app drawer are customizable to different grid sizes.
Another change to the home screen is how the home screen settings are shown. “Customize” used to include both the icon size/design and the gestures (shelf, up and down).
Well, “customize” now only allows changing the icon size and shape. Turning on the shelf, enabling swiping down for the notifications tray, and swiping up for a shortcut to a Google search are now split into a fourth option: “settings”.
The last change I’ve been able to observe is the change to screenshots.
OnePlus announced late last week on Twitter and their forum they are Globally beginning to roll out to the 3 and 3T Android 7.1.1, the latest version of Android which was released back in the beginning of December.
I got the OnePlus 3T because I heard it was nearly stock Android, like former Nexus and current Pixel phones, which I assumed would keeping things easy for OnePlus to release updates to the Operating System and add features.
So far, my assumption has been correct with this update to 7.1.1 and the addition of Google Assistant, even if Google was the company to push the Assistant to phones.
What comes with this update?
Most of the changes are small things like adding new emojis and the ability to send GIFs directly from the keyboard (to compatible devices, of course).
However, a feature from Pixel I hope will be included in this update is revealing shortcuts by long-pressing an app icon. That means I’ll see “Trending”, “Subscriptions”, and “Search” when I long-press the YouTube app on my home screen.
I woke up Saturday morning to find a special notification on my phone.
Google Assistant is here for OnePlus 3T users! Or at least some of us, but definitely for my phone.
My post about Google announcing the Assistant was on its way to Android phones running 6.0 Marshmallow and 7.0 Nougat mentioned the Google Assistant is activated in a couple ways. One way is by saying “Ok Google” like I would activate Google Now.
The other, and less battery draining method, is doing a long-press on the home button. This action already had a function on the OnePlus 3T so I wasn’t sure if Google Assistant would be activated this way.
Well, long-pressing the home button activates Google Assistant. Initially, Google Assistant simply listens for me to say something like “How old are you?” to which it will either respond to my question or open an app.
Screen search of Google Assistant notifiction
Example of a conversation with Assistant
Before Assistant was available on my phone, long-pressing did a search of whatever was on my screen, and this function is still available with Assistant, you just have to scroll up after activating Assistant.
Google announced the official start of rolling out the Google Assistant on March 2 and my phone didn’t get the Assistant until March 10. If your phone is running Android 6.0 or 7.0 but doesn’t have the Assistant yet, don’t fret, it will be available on your phone soon enough.
Even if you have a UI or OS from the phone company (like ZenUI on ZenFones) you will still get the update because this is an update to Google Play Services instead of an update to the Android OS.
Early this morning (for California), Google announced on their blog the Google Assistant found on the Google Pixel, Home, Allo, and Android Wear will begins to roll out to phones currently running Android 6.0 and 7.0. The easiest way to begin using the Google Assistant on the Pixel is long pressing the home button.
I recently got the OnePlus 3T which runs Android 6.0 out of the box with an immediate update to 7.0, but with a OnePlus launcher on top of the stock Android. With this OnePlus launcher, a long-press of the home button runs a “search” of whatever is displayed on the screen.
JetBlue instagram post
JetBlue instagram post long-press home result
Showing limitations of long-press home search
This might be a lite-version of Google Assistant, but regardless of that, I’m not sure what this official roll out of Google Assistant will change about my OnePlus 3T. I like the long-press doing a Google search, but I don’t really use it right now.
As with the other options currently sporting the Google Assistant, such as Google Home and Android Wear, you can also activate the Google Assistant with “Ok, Google” from any screen or the Google app like you can currently do with Google Now.
Google also announced, at the bottom of the blog post, the Assistant will be coming to TVs and cars. This means people will be able to get directions or search for information about their destination whenever they’re driving without looking at their phones.
Edit for clarity: Some phones are already running Andriod 7.0 like my new OnePlus 3T. The thing I’m wondering is will some features be overwritten, specifically will my current long-press home button action remain the same? Or will OnePlus allow the “Long press action” for the home button change from “Search assistant” to “Google assistant”?