The stock launcher on the OnePlus 3 and OnePlus 3T comes with a feature called the Shelf, and today I’m going to show you what is and how to customize it.
The Google Now has a nice little feature where you can swipe to the right from the first home screen and access Google Now. This is great for those who want fast access to Google Now, but sadly we don’t see this feature on other launchers (except for a Sony launcher recently) thanks to certain limitations. Still, the idea of having something useful that is one swipe away from the first home screen is a great feature.
OnePlus seems to agree and this is the reason they included a feature that they call the Shelf. This isn’t new to the OnePlus 3 or OnePlus 3T, but if you’re new to OnePlus smartphones then you might not really understand what this feature is. To put it simply, the Shelf within the OnePlus Launcher is a place to keep certain things organized and easily accessible within one swipe. Today, I wanted to go through all of the different features that OnePlus has included in the Shelf so far.
OnePlus 3 Shelf
The OnePlus 3 Shelf will look very bare when you first access it. There’s a way to create a quick note and then a list of your frequently used application, but that’s about it. You’ll want to look at the bottom right of the screen and tap that Plus button to start adding some content to the shelf. An important feature of the Shelf is the ability to add in and sort the widgets you enjoy the most.
Instead of having widgets cluttering up the Home Screen of the OnePlus 3, you can actually have them set aside while still being accessible with a single swipe. As someone who likes to keep the Home Screen of my Android devices clean, but still enjoys a good widget every now and then, I really do enjoy this feature. I don’t use many widgets, and I imagine that the more you use, the more useful this feature is to you, but I still like it for that very reason.
Along with adding a widget to the OnePlus 3 Shelf, you can also add some of your most used contacts. Just like with widgets though, you always have the ability to add your most used contacts directly to the Home Screen of any Android launcher. Again, this can clutter your Home Screen if you add a lot of people to it. So like before, you can add some select contacts to its own section of the OnePlus 3 Shelf and you’ll always be able to find them quickly.
The usefulness of this feature will vary from person to person though. The stock contacts app on the OnePlus 3 already has a Favorites feature. And like I said, you can already add contacts to the Home Screen. Still, it’s one of those features where there’s no reason why the developers shouldn’t have added it. Even if everyone doesn’t use it, the ones who do will probably be very grateful that it is there.
The last feature I wanted to show you was the ability to add weather data right into the Shelf. This information appears right next to the date and you can manually refresh it in case you feel the information is outdated. This feature can be toggled by tapping the Navigation Drawer icon at the top left of the OnePlus 3 Shelf (or by swiping in from the far left side of the screen). You even have the ability to tell OnePlus if you want to use Celsius or Fahrenheit.
This is all of the features that the OnePlus 3 Shelf has right now, but I could easily see this launcher updated in the future with more features. There’s a lot of potential here and I would love to see OnePlus add more stuff into it. Sadly, OnePlus hasn’t published this app in the Play Store (from what I can tell), so they’ll only be able to update it through firmware updates at the time of writing this. Hopefully the company will decouple this from the core OS in future updates though.