One­plus 6: Tips, tweaks, and se­crets for the best One­plus phone ever

It’s one of our fa­vorite phones of 2018, and it might be a lot more pow­er­ful than you think. Get started with these 10 power-user tips.

PCWorld (USA) - - Here’s How - BY RYAN WHITWAM

Some of the most pop­u­lar phones on the market run heavy cus­tom UIS with more fea­tures than any sane per­son needs (we’re look­ing at you Sam­sung and LG). The One­plus 6 ( go.pc­world.com/bop6) doesn’t over­load you with things you’ll never use, but there are still sub­tle and use­ful fea­tures hid­den in­side this phone.

Here are 10 im­por­tant set­ting items you should check out on the One­plus 6.

1. SCREEN-OFF GES­TURES

You don’t even have to turn on the One­plus 6 to get things done. Af­ter set­ting up the screen-off ges­ture sys­tem, you can swipe to

ac­ti­vate fea­tures in­stantly.

You’ll find this un­der Set­tings > Ges­tures > Screen Off Ges­tures. There’s a straight­for­ward Dou­ble Tap To Wake op­tion that you should en­able. You can also con­trol mu­sic (af­ter flip­ping the switch) by draw­ing a “pause” icon with two fin­gers for play/ pause. Draw a left or right­fac­ing arrow (< or >) to skip tracks. The other ges­tures are com­pletely up to you—draw an O, V, S, M, or W and ap­ply your de­sired func­tion. You can launch any app or choose from sys­tem fea­tures like tog­gling the flash­light, open­ing the cam­era, and more.

2. CUS­TOM­IZE THE ALERT SLIDER

One­plus has of­fered a three-po­si­tion alert slider ever since the One­plus 2, and the One­plus 6 makes a much needed change by con­nect­ing the slider to the ringer state rather than to Do Not Dis­turb mode. You can use the slider with­out any changes to tog­gle be­tween ring, vi­brate, and silent, but there are some use­ful set­tings to play with as well. The alert slider menu is in the main sys­tem set­tings. For ring mode, you can choose whether calls will also vi­brate. In silent mode, you can also have me­dia au­to­mat­i­cally muted. This is an es­pe­cially handy fea­ture when you don’t want your phone mak­ing any noise.

3. DE­CLUT­TER THE STA­TUS BAR

The One­plus 6 does the screen notch bet­ter than most other An­droid phones, but there’s no get­ting around the lack of phys­i­cal space for sta­tus-bar icons. You can trim the as­sort­ment of icons up there in the sys­tem set­tings un­der Sta­tus Bar. In­side this menu, you can add a bat­tery per­cent­age in place of the icon, but the ma­jor space sav­ing is found in the Icon Man­ager sub­menu. You can dis­able icons for al­most any­thing— even things you ac­tu­ally need like the sig­nal bars. But you’re prob­a­bly safe to ditch icons like the VOLTE, NFC, and alarm.

4. GAM­ING MODE

A lot of peo­ple take their mo­bile gam­ing more se­ri­ously than ever now with high-stakes ti­tles like PUBG hit­ting An­droid. One­plus in­cludes a spe­cial gam­ing mode to boost your phone’s per­for­mance or save power while play­ing games. You’ll find gam­ing mode rather buried in menus un­der Set­tings > Ad­vanced > Gam­ing Mode.

This fea­ture lets you route calls to speak­er­phone au­to­mat­i­cally, dis­able au­to­matic bright­ness, and limit net­work ac­cess for non-game apps. Just choose your set­tings and add apps to your game list. Run any of those ti­tles, and Gam­ing Mode will ac­ti­vate.

5. CUS­TOM­IZE THE NAV­I­GA­TION BUT­TONS

Many phones let you choose the or­der of nav­i­ga­tion but­tons, but One­plus goes fur­ther by let­ting you pick what the but­tons do. These op­tions are in a top-level But­tons menu in the sys­tem set­tings. You can, of course, re­verse the but­ton or­der if you’re ac­cus­tomed to Sam­sung’s de­fault lay­out. Each of the three stan­dard but­tons also have long-press and dou­ble-press ac­tions avail­able to con­fig­ure.

Most but­ton trig­gers will de­fault to No Ac­tion ex­cept for the home but­ton, which launches As­sis­tant when you long-press. You can change that or any other but­ton trig­ger to things like voice search, no­ti­fi­ca­tions, or turn­ing off the screen.

6. SWITCH TO THE DARK THEME

All these bright set­tings screens can be mur­der on your eyes in a dark room, but the One­plus 6 has a dark sys­tem theme ready to go. Go to Set­tings > Dis­play and scroll down to the Sys­tem sec­tion. Tap on Theme and choose Dark. There’s also a Light theme that switches to a com­pletely white UI if you want to sear your reti­nas a lit­tle more.

The dark theme ap­plies to all sys­tem set­tings screens and the app drawer. Remember, you can also change the ac­cent color in this same menu to give your theme a lit­tle more charm.

7. SWITCH TO GES­TURE NAV­I­GA­TION

If cus­tomiz­ing the nav­i­ga­tion but­tons isn’t enough for you, there’s an op­tion to get rid of the but­tons com­pletely. Go to Set­tings > Nav­i­ga­tion Bar & Ges­tures and ac­ti­vate Nav­i­ga­tion Ges­tures. In this mode, the nav bar is gone, and you con­trol the phone with swipes from the bot­tom of the screen. A swipe up in the mid­dle sends you to Home, but swip­ing up and hold­ing opens mul­ti­task­ing. Swipe up from the bot­tom left or right to go back. It takes some ad­just­ment, but you can re­claim that lost screen space.

8. HIDE THE NOTCH

The One­plus 6 screen notch isn’t very big, but you can make it even less con­spic­u­ous. Go to Set­tings > Dis­play and scroll down to the Notch sec­tion. Here, you can tap on the Notch Dis­play item to get a choice be­tween show­ing the notch and hid­ing it.

If you choose to hide the notch, the sta­tus bar area on ei­ther side of the notch will be black in­stead of what­ever color your sta­tus bar is sup­posed to be at that mo­ment. The no­ti­fi­ca­tion and sta­tus icons re­main up there, but the pro­tru­sion into your dis­play is less ob­vi­ous.

9. HID­DEN SPACE APPS

Just be­cause you have an app in­stalled doesn’t mean it needs to be vis­i­ble in your app drawer. Many third-party launch­ers let you hide apps, but the One­plus launcher has a slightly dif­fer­ent take on the fea­ture that keeps those apps where you can get to them. It’s called the

Hid­den Space, and it’s just a swipe away.

To ac­cess the Hid­den Space, just swipe to the left af­ter open­ing the app drawer. You can add new apps to this list by tap­ping the plus icon at the top of the screen. Apps in the Hid­den Space don’t show up in the main app list, but you can still launch them nor­mally once you swipe over. If you want to re­store an app, long-press and select the Un­hide op­tion.

10. CUS­TOM­IZE (OR DIS­ABLE) THE SHELF

The One­plus launcher in­cludes a Shelf to the left of the first home screen, which is where you’ll find the Google Feed on many de­vices. The Shelf is an ex­tra home screen panel, ver­ti­cally scrol­lable and de­signed for wid­gets. It has a se­lec­tion of built-in wid­gets that track your data us­age, re­cent con­tacts, and more. Don’t want all those? Just long-press and tap the red X to clear any of them.

You can add more wid­gets to the Shelf as well by tap­ping the plus but­ton in the lower right cor­ner. Any wid­get will work, but scrol­lable ones can get in the way of scrolling through the Shelf. If you don’t like the Shelf, you can shut it off in the Home set­tings.

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