OnePlus is pushing out Open Beta updates for its latest flagship quickly. The phone is already on its third version (we skipped the last one since it was rather boring), this time with more improvements across the board, plus some new features. OnePlus Switch is getting some refinements, Parallel Apps is expanding to include more options, and there's even an option to launch Assistant (or other voice assistant) by holding the power button for half a second.
Go ahead and check out what Open Beta 3 offers (copied directly from OnePlus with no edits):
- Fixed stability issues with ambient display
- Improved stability for face unlock and fingerprint scanner
- Added support to launch google assistant or other third party assistant app by holding power button for 0.5 seconds
- Added support for more apps (Telegram ,Discord,IMO, Uber, OLA) in parallel APPS
OnePlus Switch v2.1.0
- Added manual connection method if unable to connect switch with QR code on the old device
- Supported backup and recovery for application data including home screen, lock screen and APP layout
- Bug fixes and support for more Android models
One of my biggest complaints with the OnePlus 6 thus far has been that I find the fingerprint sensor to be less reliable than the 5T's. It often has trouble recognizing either of my registered fingers, almost like it's reading too fast. So far, I don't see any improvements to it in this update — it fails so often that it turns the screen on, which activates Face Unlock, so I don't know why I even bother.
The real interesting piece here is the alternate method to launch Assistant. As far as gesture navigation goes, OnePlus' implementation is one of the better ones out there, certainly better than Google's. The only problem is that there's no way to bring up Assistant, notably when you don't want to say "Ok Google" to your phone. This Open Beta offers a solution: hold the power button for half a second, hold it for three seconds to bring up the power menu. It works pretty well, but you will have Assistant up and listening if you're just trying to reboot, then it goes away as soon as the menu appears. To get to it, just open Settings and head to Buttons & gestures.
Though I don't use Parallel Apps personally, I see why someone might. It now includes a few more apps, such as Telegram and Discord, if you need that. And if you're a OnePlus Switch user, then you can now trigger a manual connection with your old device if the QR code method isn't working. It can also backup homescreen, lockscreen, and app layouts, plus it now works with additional Android phones.
Finally, OnePlus notes that there are still a couple of known issues, which are spelled out here:
- Some applications may not function as expected when running on this beta version
- Google Pay service is not working
The update hit my phone already, but you can always check out Oxygen Updater if you want to pull it down manually since OnePlus hasn't updated the downloads page yet.