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OnePlus quietly updated its Zen Mode and forgot to tell anyone
- OnePlus has quietly updated the Zen Mode app with a new name, a new icon, and several new features.
- Zen Space, as it is now called, includes two Zen modes: Deep Zen and the new Light Zen.
- There are also new themes, progress status on the Always On Display, weekly dashboards, and more.
One of the talking points of the erstwhile Oxygen OS skin on older OnePlus smartphones was the presence of a Zen Mode app. This app essentially locks you out of your phone with your consent, forcing you to take stock of the real world around you. It was a nice way to disengage from your phone and all the attached always-online personas. With the launch of the Nord CE 3 Lite, OnePlus quietly updated the Zen Mode app with a redesign and some new features.
OnePlus forum member Some_Random_Username brought to light the newly updated Zen Mode app and its redesign in a forum thread. The app is now called Zen Space, and it has a new icon in its v13.1.9 update to celebrate this slight rebranding.
The biggest change, however, is in the core functionality of the app. Previously, Zen Mode would lock you out of your phone and render most functions inoperable for the duration you set. You can only use the camera to click photos and make and receive emergency phone calls. With the update, there are now two Zen Mode options to choose from: Deep Zen and Light Zen.
Deep Zen will be familiar to Zen Mode users as the classic lockdown functionality that was previously available. Light Zen is what’s new in the update. This mode lets you allow certain apps that can function when in Light Zen mode. You can also exit the mode if you need to use any apps beyond your allowlist. This way, you can enforce a softer limit to get some distraction-free work done without severely compromising your ability to use your phone.
Light Zen mode includes two presets: Work and Study. These draw upon the Work Life Balance feature to populate the list of apps that would remain available. You can also make your own selections.
Other changes to Zen Space include refreshed themes, the ability to choose from a wider range of time durations, and the ability to see the Zen progress on the Always On Display. There are new achievement medals too, and a dashboard with your weekly stats.
It’s strange that OnePlus did not highlight a rather significant change to one of its highlight features. Zen Mode/Zen Space goes under the radar for many users, but it’s invaluable to those who regularly make use of it.
The updated Zen Space app is present on the OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite (which we expect to release in the US as the Nord N30). We expect the update to reach other OnePlus users through a Play Store update soon.