As users are becoming increasingly aware of how much time we spend on our devices, smartphone brands are responding with new tools and features to help users manage their smartphone use. Google first introduced Digital Wellbeing in Android Pie for Pixel smartphones, and many brands have since integrated Google’s wellness feature into their own software builds. Some brands like Huawei and Xiaomi offer their own alternatives to Digital Wellbeing, while others like OnePlus build upon Google’s offering. Zen Mode in OxygenOS 9.5 is less of a digital management interface and more of a tool to briefly go cold turkey. Version 1.3 of the app came bundled with the latest Android Q beta for the OnePlus 7 Pro, and it adds a few new features that users have asked for.
A few days ago, Maggie Ouyang, an OxygenOS Product Manager, published an article on the OnePlus Forums explaining the purpose of Zen Mode. Putting away your smartphone for 20 minutes gives you a short break from your apps and notifications, but it’s not so long that it’ll legitimately interfere with your work or study. During the 20 minute break, you can make emergency calls, receive calls, or use the camera to take pictures or video. She explains that the team settled on the 20-minute timer because longer timers like 60 minutes or even 45 minutes would prevent most people from using it. She ends the post stating that the team is already working on updates to the feature based on user feedback, and indeed version 1.3.0 adds some useful features.
First, users can now set the duration of Zen Mode. You can choose between 20, 30, 40, or 60 minutes. Second, you can now set a daily, customizable reminder to tell you to put down your phone. Lastly, Zen Mode now has a launcher icon so you can open it without pulling down your Quick Settings panel.
Here’s the changelog mentioned in the app:
- Support more Zen Mode time
- Add timing notice
- Design optimization and experience improvement
We extracted the APK from Android Q DP4 for the OnePlus 7 Pro and uploaded it to AndroidFileHost for you to download. I sideloaded it on my OnePlus 7 Pro running Android Pie-based OxygenOS 9.5.10 and can confirm the new features show up. Since Zen Mode is also available on the OnePlus 5, OnePlus 5T, OnePlus 6, OnePlus 6T, and OnePlus 7, you should also be able to sideload the new APK on those devices. Lastly, you should know that Android Q DP4 brings back Digital Wellbeing on the OnePlus 7 Pro, so you can now take advantage of the wellness tools from both Google and OnePlus.
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