OxygenOS’ New Feature – App Priority
OnePlus have made the OnePlus 5 official, and the new smartphone is available to order. For 2017 the OnePlus 5 and its software, OxygenOS, is all about a smooth customer experience. One feature that the company talked about is that of “App Priority,” an interesting little software trick to improve the experience. Although OnePlus have not released the technical details behind this technology, it could be one of the OnePlus 5’s greatest features for real world use. App Priority learns how the user behaves to preempt what apps might be used next. Let’s take a look.
By way of background, OnePlus have released a series of “flagship killer” smartphones in the last three years. That trend has continued into 2017 as the OnePlus 5 comes with the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 system-on-chip, and two storage variants. One comes with 6 GB of RAM and 64 GB of internal storage, and the more expensive model comes with 8 GB of RAM and 128 GB of internal storage.
On the face of it having 6 GB of RAM could be overkill. 8 GB of RAM sounds like OnePlus is polishing the box specification; who needs this much memory on a smartphone? There are no apps sophisticated enough to use this much memory but instead won’t it mean that many apps are kept running?
The reality is that a properly written Android app will not use much battery when it is loaded in memory. It will use power when it’s doing something, such as synchronising, but it will do this regardless of if it’s showing in the recent app view. Android is very clever at optimising memory and application use. OnePlus also reserve a proportion of this RAM for the camera.
OxygenOS’ new feature, App Priority, was also introduced alongside the OnePlus 5. Simply put, the smartphone pre-loads applications that it believes the user is going to use. OnePlus’ website explains that the software “intelligently learns your usage patterns to launch important apps more quickly.” Another side of this is that infrequently used applications are not allowed to run.
How could this work in the real world? Many users use a number of applications at different times of the day. For example, when waking up we might check the news and weather, our email, and perhaps a social network or two. During our commute we might fire up our music player, launch YouTube, or maybe an eBook reader app. The OnePlus 5 could be one step ahead by preloading these applications in the background so that when we switch to the eBook reader, the app switches to the foreground. The device won’t need to load the new application. The effect is a lightning fast response and you won’t be waiting for it. It also won’t use any additional battery providing you open the apps the phone things you will, and it is a great use of large quantities of RAM.
It could even be justification for buying the 8 GB RAM, 128 GB storage variant.