OnePlus 8 is getting an always-on display

OnePlus 8 Pro
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

OnePlus users asked, now the phone maker is delivering. A software update enabling an always-on display feature will be coming to OnePlus' OxygenOS later this year.

That announcement, made in the OnePlus user forums yesterday (May 1), actually isn't that big a surprise. Earlier this spring, the company confirmed via Twitter that it would fulfill a long-time request of its users by bringing an always-on display option via a software update.

What is new is that we now have a target date for the feature. In the OnePlus community post, the company said it expected to finish development of an always-on display feature in June, with the finished version arriving in an OxygenOS update in either August or September. OxygenOS is the software that powers OnePlus phones, and it's built on top of the latest version of Android.

According to OnePlus, an always-on display has been one of the most requested features from users of its phones. The feature displays the time — and occasionally other at-a-glance info — without requiring you to pick up or wake your phone. Because this feature is arriving via software, it will presumably work on current OnePlus phones with OLED panels such as the recently released OnePlus 8 and OnePlus 8 Pro. It would also be included with upcoming OnePlus releases, such as the rumored OnePlus Z if that unannounced phone has an OLED screen as many observers expect.

The always-on display feature isn't the only one coming to OnePlus' OxygenOS. The company has been soliciting ideas from its users as part of its IDEAS program to find out about what features users wanted on their phones. 

Other features slated for OxygenOS include the ability to enable fingerprint lock for hidden pictures in the gallery. OnePlus phones will also be able to play an alert when they're fully charged, and you'll be able to store folders in the app drawer. OnePlus also plans to tweak its Zen Mode — a feature designed to reduce distractions by blocking out some apps and notifications — by allowing users to include more apps like Calculator, Calendar and Contacts when Zen Mode is enabled. Those other changes are now included in the OxygenOS road map, though OnePlus didn't give a time frame on when they're coming to phones.

If you're the sort who wonders what might have been, the OnePlus post also includes user-suggested features that didn't make the cut this time around. Suggestions that weren't adopted include an Edge notification light, call recording, and a feature like Samsung's Dex that would have allowed users to connect their OnePlus phone to a display and use it like a mobile PC.

Philip Michaels

Philip Michaels is a Managing Editor at Tom's Guide. He's been covering personal technology since 1999 and was in the building when Steve Jobs showed off the iPhone for the first time. He's been evaluating smartphones since that first iPhone debuted in 2007, and he's been following phone carriers and smartphone plans since 2015. He has strong opinions about Apple, the Oakland Athletics, old movies and proper butchery techniques. Follow him at @PhilipMichaels.