Mobility

How to maximize OnePlus phone's Shelf, a hidden productivity gem

OnePlus smartphone owners, you might be missing out on some of Shelf's great features. Check out these tips on using Shelf.

oneplushero.jpg
Image: Jack Wallen

If you're the proud owner of a OnePlus device, you've probably wondered what Shelf has to offer. Or, you may not even know it exists.

Shelf is essentially a page on your home screen that allows you to take memos, add widgets, gain access to your most-used apps, and get a quick glimpse of the weather. Swipe right (from the left edge of your OnePlus screen) and you'll see Shelf in action. To some users, Shelf might be little more than an afterthought; however, with a bit of attention and knowledge about how to work with it, Shelf can actually be quite useful.

SEE: OnePlus 3 smartphone: The smart person's guide

Enabling Shelf

During the setup of your OnePlus device, you may have opted to disable Shelf, not knowing what it was. If you want to give it a go, here's how to enable it.

  1. Long press a blank spot on your screen.
  2. Tap Customize.
  3. Tap to Enable Shelf (Figure A).

Figure A

Figure A
Image: Jack Wallen
Enabling Shelf on a OnePlus 3

Adding, resizing, and removing widgets

The first thing you might notice is the row of app icons and contacts, which are taken directly from your App Drawer and your Contacts—both of these are widgets can be removed and resized. When you resize either the app launcher or the contact widget, you'll find you get more app launchers and favorites.

To expand a widget, long press it until you see the control handle appear at the bottom (Figure B). Once the control bar appears, tap and drag it down or up to resize the widget and release when complete.

Figure B

Figure B
Image: Jack Wallen
Resizing a widget

You can also add and remove widgets from Shelf. To add a widget, press the + sign on your Shelf, tap the Widget button, locate the widget you want to add (Figure C), and tap it.

Figure C

Figure C
Image: Jack Wallen
Adding a widget to Shelf

It's not obvious how to remove widgets from Shelf. In fact, without knowing this trick, you'd be hard-pressed to get rid of any widget you don't want on your Shelf. Here's how to do it.

  1. On your Shelf, scroll to the widget you want removed.
  2. Long press the widget and then slowly slide it to the right.
  3. When you see either the three bars or the trash icon (Figure D), continue sliding the widget until it is off the screen.

Figure D

Figure D
Image: Jack Wallen
Removing a widget from Shelf

OnePlus should probably make this task a bit easier, but at least it's possible.

Adding memos/reminders

Adding memos to your Shelf is simple: tap the Memo widget and add your memo. That memo will appear on your Shelf and wait for you to do one of two things:

  • Dismiss it
  • Set a reminder for it

Memos are dismissed in the same fashion as deleting widgets: long press and then slide to the right.

Or, you can turn those memos into reminders. When you set a reminder for a memo, it is automatically placed on your default Google calendar. To add a reminder, tap the SET REMINDER button associated with the memo in question and then configure the reminder as needed (Figure E).

Figure E

Figure E
Image: Jack Wallen
Creating a reminder from a Shelf memo

To use or not to use

That is the question. After using Shelf for awhile, you might determine it's an invaluable tool that helps make your daily Android life more productive. If, however, you don't use Shelf, disable it, or install a different home screen launcher.

OnePlus has created a nice addition to its home screen launcher. Give it a go, and see if you don't wind up making the most of it.

Also see

About Jack Wallen

Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website jackwallen.com.

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