Smartphone addiction has always been a topic of discussion since there were smartphones but it has gotten a lot more attention recently due to global events. Removing your face from screens and inserting your attention at the moment has become an even more important activity, which has resulted in the rise of digital wellbeing apps. Of course, those apps only really work if they’re available on your phone, so it’s a good thing OnePlus is opening up its Zen Mode 2.0 app to non-OnePlus phones.
Zen Mode is OnePlus’ version of the popular timeout class of apps. Like many other OEMs, OnePlus has made it an exclusive perk that only OnePlus owners can enjoy. With Zen Mode 2.0, however, it can’t but help open it up to other Android phones because of one new feature: Group Rooms.
Group rooms practically turn on Zen Mode for a set of smartphones invited to a group for the purpose of forcing everyone to disconnect from their phones and reconnect with each other, be it at dinner or in a meeting. For that to work, however, all those phones will need to have the latest Zen Mode app. While OnePlus would probably wish everyone used its phones, it probably begrudgingly had to concede not everyone is of the same mind.
Zen Mode 2.0 also introduces a UI revamp that includes five themes to choose from. There are also more time durations available, from 1 minute to two hours. Unfortunately, you still can’t create your own arbitrary 45 or 75-minute breaks.
For now, Zen Mode 2.0 is officially available only on the OnePlus 7, 7T, and 8 series as well as the OnePlus Nord. It will, however, soon be available fully on the Google Play Store for anyone to install but if you want to get an early peek, you can also try applying for beta testing access.