How We Designed OnePlus Switch

  1. Gary C. OxygenOS Operations Staff Member Jul 17, 2018

    Gary C., Jul 17, 2018 :

    No longer just a tool for long-distance communication, today’s smartphones are changing how we live. Almost everyone has one, and continued tech advances mean that phone hardware is getting better with each passing day. It also means that people are changing phones quicker than ever before – every 18 months on average, according to the latest stats.


    While changing your phone regularly is far from unusual, it’s rarely painless. Especially when you’re denied the one key feature you really want: quick and easy data migration.

    So, we had a look at the products that are on offer in app markets. Most could migrate basic data like contacts, messages, and photos, but had no chance with system data such as screen layout, settings, weather, and notes. And some could not connect two phones even after they are placed back to back. If you bought a new phone, you had to reinstall all your apps.

    Until you found OnePlus Switch, that is. OnePlus Switch is our seamless data migration app that gets you on your new phone faster than ever before.

    No second chance for a first impression

    OnePlus Switch will probably be the first app every new OnePlus user experiences after buying one of our phones.

    Because first impressions count, designing a fresh and intuitive homepage was our first challenge. We tried various layouts, applied our iconic red and tested out different graphics, including what we thought were fresh and cool buttons. However, they weren’t. They looked ordinary and weren’t all that user friendly.


    We had a rethink. We began to consider real life scenarios, imagining that the data units to be migrated were items that had to be physically moved.

    But how do you do that without a truck? So, we developed some graphics with real life in mind, and from that we arrived at a final version.


    Making connections

    Migrating data between two phones requires them to be paired. To do that, we had a go at hardware-based NFC and Bluetooth. We tried shaking both phones at the same time and attempted to transmit sound from one phone to the other. However, many old phones lack NFC and both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi can be painfully slow. We tried number passwords. And then we tried QR codes, with the old phone scanning the code generated by the new one.

    After extensive comparison, we had a winner: the QR code.

    Keep on truckin’

    Because your mobile phone probably contains many gigs of data and we want things to be painless and lightning quick, OnePlus Switch automatically chooses 5G Wi-Fi direct transmission if there’s more than 200MB on your old phone and, of course, if your old phone’s hardware supports 5G Wi-Fi.

    We’ve also made the migration screen as friendly as possible, with animations of people moving your data from left to right – your contacts, photos, messages and so on. As a reminder of which phone’s sending and which is receiving, we’ve parked a virtual truck on the new phone so you can see where your data’s going. Just like moving house. Except quicker and easier. And you don’t have to do any heavy lifting.


    What's happening next?

    Soon, OnePlus Switch will be able to migrate even more data between OnePlus phones, including wallpapers, lock screens, and your app layout. You’ll be able to change phones without changing all the features you know, love, and spent ages getting just right.

    We’re also optimizing the backup and recovery function to cover app data. The new OnePlus 6 comes out the box with OnePlus Switch, which you can activate in Settings > Other Advanced Settings.

  2. Gaston NP KitKat Moderator Jul 18, 2018

  3. Dresa91 Oreo Jul 18, 2018

    Dresa91, Jul 18, 2018 :
    Interesting, thanks for the view :)

  4. Horsault Marshmallow Moderator Jul 18, 2018

    Horsault, Jul 18, 2018 :
    This is a great tool. Very user-friendly too.
    IMO, it should be presented as an option as soon as the 1st screens when you first set your new 1+ phone, even before setting up your Google account. As well as a mention in the leaflet and on the official presentation site, for those who read before using. :D
    People would know the migration tool exist before using their phone.
    It would prevent "if I'd only knew, It would have saved me painful manipulations" reaction.

    That's nice.
    In a future version, what about loading the truck in the FROM phone, and unloading it in the TO phone?
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2018

    kevm66, script, GopalB. and 4 others like this.
  5. jaivaghela Ice Cream Sandwich Jul 18, 2018

    jaivaghela, Jul 18, 2018 :
    Good to know, keep up the good work. OnePlus switch has been very handy especially after upgrading my family to OnePlus and transferring data from older devices.

  6. youbi Portuguese POC Assistant Head Moderator Jul 18, 2018

    youbi, Jul 18, 2018 :
    @Gary C.

    Thanks once again for sharing the back stage story of how you guys developed something, its always nice to get what you were aiming for and tested before the final product. :)

    The switch app is a great addition and something users have requested since long and when you guys finally get apps data also backed up than it will be even better.

    You took the words out of my mouth. :p I was exactly going to say that because when I was moving from the op5t to the op6 I got a bit lost on the first set up, because you are only asked before for doing things with google, and you don't have a earlier (or at least at the same time) prompt for doing it immediately with the switch app. :(

    So I end up doing it with google cloud backup and after that I did wonder if it was worth doing it with the switch app later, but I already had most stuff on the phone so I was afraid I end up getting duplicates of some stuff.

    If you guys can find a way for getting the Oneplus switch app sync request before or at same time than the google one would be great. But I do wonder if it can be done or if not because of some Android setup rules that Google has established for the certified Android devices.
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2018

    vickyc3399, Gary C., script and 4 others like this.
  7. W1531854067651 Donut Jul 18, 2018

    W1531854067651, Jul 18, 2018 :
    It's a great tool when I was trasferring my data from Lenovo to OnePlus 6. However it doesn't seem to work with Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Edge. I have downloaded OnePlus switch through play store on Samsung device but it doesn't seem to work at all. Please assist.

  8. Horsault Marshmallow Moderator Jul 18, 2018

    Horsault, Jul 18, 2018 :

    Cheetosdust likes this.
  9. W1531854067651 Donut Jul 18, 2018

  10. B.yashaswi Ice Cream Sandwich Jul 18, 2018

  11. sunil1491 Honeycomb Jul 18, 2018

  12. Samit_hawx Gingerbread Jul 18, 2018

  13. errror631 Donut Jul 18, 2018

    errror631, Jul 18, 2018 :
    Dear OnePlus team,

    I like your app very much but I think you also need some PC/Mac app for sync and backup. Because of large phone capacity, we need another storage to backup all this media. And I think some app like iTunes for Apple products where you can buckup and restore entire phone's memory including apps data will be great. I hope I'm not the only one with this thoughts :) Please take into consideration.

    Wish you all the best and Never Settle! [e]1f60a[/e]

    manyou likes this.
  14. macemoneta Honeycomb Jul 19, 2018

    macemoneta, Jul 19, 2018 :
    It didn't work when we went from Moto X Pure to OnePlus 6. The app on the Moto X Pure just hung. So we did it the old fashioned, painful, way. Still worth it. :)

  15. NovinDavis KitKat Jul 19, 2018

    NovinDavis, Jul 19, 2018 :
    I tried OnePlus Switch . Well was not able to restore backup from PC to mobile, Sorry to say but it's a poorly implemented app.

  16. Aggressions Gingerbread Jul 20, 2018

    Aggressions, Jul 20, 2018 :
    I could never get OnePlus Switch to work on any of my phones. from the note 8 to the Galaxy s8, I just gave up and always did a fresh install when I got my OnePlus 5t and now 6

  17. MikaAleksandroff Cupcake Jul 20, 2018

  18. michaelrayn Eclair Aug 10, 2018

  19. C1533896936432 Cupcake Aug 10, 2018

    C1533896936432, Aug 10, 2018 :
    my phone one plus 3 upgrade karna ka biad screen lock ma problem ho rahe hi phone off karka on karna padta hi

  20. G_Viru Jelly Bean Aug 16, 2018