If you’re using a OnePlus smartphone, plugging in the device to charge could reveal an exciting new Android feature. Dubbed Ambient Mode, the user interface, which has been available on Google Pixel and Sony smartphones for some time, lets you shuffle through treasured photos, control smart lights, connected central heating and music playing in your home.
The Google Assistant-powered feature takes over your screen whenever the handset is plugged in and charging and is designed to become your go-to panel of controls to make any changes to your smart home gadgets and gizmos without the need to unlock your phone, or fire-up any specific apps. If you’ve got Google Home compatible lights, speakers, security cameras, or central heating kit – this could become a vital feature on your smartphone.
And even if you’re not drowning in connected gadgets around the house, this is still a nice bonus. The ability to turn your handset into a digital photo frame and watch some of your favourite family holiday shots, nights out with friends and birthday memories appear in the slideshow is a brilliant addition to any bedside table.
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These images are taken from Google Photos, so if you use Amazon, DropBox or another provider as your cloud storage back-up solution, you’ll have to at least throw a few shots into Photos to be able to start your slideshow. Google lets you choose a designated album – one specifically set-up for the photo frame, for example – or you can shuffle through your entire library.
Finally, Ambient Mode also includes shortcuts to set your alarm for the next morning, as well as upcoming appointments in your schedule and the latest weather.
OnePlus has a pretty solid reputation for bringing new features and operating system updates to older hardware. As such, Ambient Mode is coming to a huge swathe of the Shenzhen-based company’s handsets, from the OnePlus 3 – which first launched in June 14, 2016 – to the latest models, the OnePlus 7T and OnePlus 7T Pro.
According to the announcement posted on OnePlus forums, users with one of the support smartphones should plug-in their devices and tap on the notification that pops up, and follow the guidance to set up Ambient Mode.
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