OnePlus has killed off its long-standing “Shelf” in favor of Google’s Discover with its newly-launched OnePlus 8-series. Reportedly discovered first by Android Police, the company is now offering only Google Discover to the left of the home screen. The company’s Shelf option no longer seems to be available either. Instead, disabling Google Discover eliminates that left-most screen entirely.
That’s good news for users who were never fans of Shelf or Google Discover, to begin with.
Why kill the OnePlus Shelf and use Discover now?
Now, OnePlus has been toying with alternatives to its Shelf for several years now. In late 2018, the company gave users as far back as the OnePlus 6T the option to use Google Discover instead. But it hasn’t provided any concrete reason for deciding to remove the feature from its latest flagship-killing phones.
For clarity, the Shelf on OnePlus devices was the company’s take on a helpful dedicated screen for everything from widgets and shortcuts to more general information. Users could organize and set up the shelf to their liking via a healthy number of customizations.
The Shelf occupied the space just to the left of OxygenOS’s primary home screen. Summarily, the Shelf occupied a spot ordinarily reserved for Google Discover on near-stock smartphones but not for OnePlus or the OnePlus 8-series.
Google Discover, by contrast, offers a more directly catered experience. Users have seemed to prefer that option over OnePlus’ shelf despite that the rest of the company’s OxygenOS is widely lauded.
Not only is Discover frequently updated with important information. It’s also geared toward providing users with a rundown of their day, weather, content such as videos, sports scores, and entertainment updates. Users can also access upcoming event information, stock prices, and other information that’s directly relevant to them. Google presents upcoming events where tickets have already been purchased and shipments that are on the way, as well.
The search giant serves all of that up and more on interactive cards, complete with clickable links and media. All of that is switched up or swapped out as cards become obsolete or new details become available. Users are, of course, also free to customize what Discover displays too.
Google Discover can be disabled too, for those who don’t want it
As noted above, those who aren’t impressed by Google’s dizzying array of detailed information don’t need to use it. Of course, that also applies to anybody who just wants a cleaner aesthetic or who doesn’t want to go through the trouble to customize Discover in order to make it useful.
Google has worked to ensure that the steps to do that are effectively universal. Users can navigate to the Google app, select Settings, and then on Discover. The option to completely disable Google Discover is provided to end-users in that menu.
While the change isn’t likely enough to prompt users to trade up to the OnePlus 8-series, OnePlus has put together plenty of other reasons, ranging from the 120Hz display panel to its revamped design and specs. The OnePlus 8 and OnePlus 8 Pro are set to sell in the US and Canada from April 29 direct from OnePlus. The handsets will be priced starting from $699 or $899, respectively.