The Shelf, Explained!

  1. Gary C.
    OxygenOS Operations Staff Member Jun 6, 2018

    Gary C. , Jun 6, 2018 :
    Imagine you’re walking into the kitchen to make something to eat. How different would your cooking experience be, if everything was in a dreadful mess vs neatly organized on the shelves? In the disorganized scenario, you might be able to find what need, but it would be inefficient and possibly take a toll on you if you had to face this setup every time you needed to cook something. We take a similar view when we’re designing your software experience on OxygenOS.

    Kitchen in a mess

    Shelf in the kitchen

    What is Shelf

    In OxygenOS, Shelf is a personal space for organizing a day’s life easily. Memos, calendar, weather, and the music player can all be put in Shelf freely. It can be accessed with a single swipe from the Home screen.

    Why we created Shelf

    When we chatted with some users, we found that some people liked to put their widgets in one page. However, they complained that one page is not enough for them and wished that the page could be extended with more space to hold all their widgets.

    We put some thought into how to best provide a fluid way to view app content, without actually tapping on the icon. Combine with users’ need and our own ideas, we hit upon the idea - “why not just create a page for widgets, which can be scrolled up and down?”.

    Thus, we began to build the Shelf. A special page that is easy to access, just a swipe away from the Home screen. Left or right? We picked left.

    An old version of Shelf that revolved around quick accessing both apps and contacts

    How we improved Shelf

    More and more people have used Shelf and showed off their Shelf setup on the forums. It’s been gratifying to see that people love the customizationsof Shelf.

    As with other parts of OxygenOS, we’re constantly refining based on what you’ve told us. Some users encountered 3rd party widgets with issues with Shelf, resulting in a less than smooth experience. We’ve tried to find out features to add based on Shelf screenshots shared on the forum. For instance, many users love to put a to-do list and calendar events on Shelf, so launcher team decided to add our own Memos to the Shelf. We’ve also seen stat parameters for data usage and battery levels out there. Thus, we made the dashboard.

    Through this process of refinement, Shelf becomes increasingly powerful and useful for users across the board.

    Shelf in the latest OxygenOS build

    The future of Shelf

    What will the next generation of Shelf be like? A lot is still up in the air. Based on some machine learning trends from Google and Android, Shelf of the future may be more predictive, so that you can even more seamlessly access what you want when you need it. One thing is sure. After talking with you guys in the forum and offline events, we know it’s important to keep the basic spirit of Shelf – quick access what you need via a single swipe. We’ll continue working hard to make Shelf smarter, and look forward to working with you all even more in the coming days to come.

    Team photo launcher team phoho01.jpg

  2. Cheetosdust
    Starting Point Expert Jun 7, 2018

    Cheetosdust , Jun 7, 2018 :
    Hello @Gary C.

    I like how easy it is to use, but I still think the Shelf can be a lot smarter, so I'm happy to read this:

    Can't wait to check it out.

    Also, kudos - and I hope you guys continue to do this - for letting users just disable the whole thing if they don't like it.

    PS: Hope Miko is feeling better :D

  3. youbi
    Portuguese POC Assistant Head Moderator Jun 7, 2018

    youbi , Jun 7, 2018 :
    I know many users really love the shelf, but to be honest personally I never really go that big user of it, in the end I mostly never used it so end up turning it off. Maybe I should give it a try again. :sweatsmile:

    The one thing I hope you guys can add to it in a near future is making it match the dark mode, because when you have dark mode on it feels a bit strange seeing that white shelf page. :p

    Loved the family pic. :D Keep up the good work guys. :)

  4. idkwhoiam322
    Nougat Jun 7, 2018

    idkwhoiam322 , Jun 7, 2018 :
    Thanks for the explanation, I hope it gets better :)
    I kinda dig the dark theme tho :eek:
    Team photo <3

  5. youbi
    Portuguese POC Assistant Head Moderator Jun 7, 2018

    youbi , Jun 7, 2018 :
    Ohh, one good thing (but to be honest not sure the best way to do it :sweatsmile:) to also add, would be to offer a peak of the google now feed (can't remember what they call it now), also in the shelf.

    Because many users miss the quick access you get to it from the default google launcher.

    jlasensiofi, GopalB., script and 5 others like this.
  6. G_plusone
    Marshmallow Jun 7, 2018

    G_plusone , Jun 7, 2018 :
    Shelf is indeed helpful at times and would love to see improvements

  7. Horsault
    Marshmallow Moderator Jun 7, 2018

    Horsault , Jun 7, 2018 :
    This shelf is a good idea.
    To be honest though, as it's not and cannot be default home screen, I don't use it as often as I could. In fact, I managed to get the most important things I need on my home screen first page.

    What I really use shelf for, though, is the note feature (especially since notes can be edited :)). It's very convenient to have a "post-it" area with temporary relevant information.
    I also like how the shelf displays storage, data and battery information.

    Among possible improvements would be the option to choose between recent and fav contacts display, as well as for apps.
    I understand recent contacts / apps may be a relevant choice, but my most recent contacts aren't necessarily my favorite ones or the ones I want to display at first sight (I'm sure my boss and some lovers will understand :cool:).
    As for recent apps: when I'm in a waiting room I can access games several times in a row, but I may prefer more important apps to be immediately available.

    JubaL_VW, Maegoss, Damonp87 and 9 others like this.
  8. Evgeny.S
    Gingerbread Jun 7, 2018

    Evgeny.S , Jun 7, 2018 :
    Imagine the widgets shelf from iOS... basically the same thing.

    I wonder how many people find the shelf useful and not turn off the toggle. Maybe we should do a poll...?
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2018

    deangilvin and G_plusone like this.
  9. Tobikage
    Nougat Jun 7, 2018

  10. Horsault
    Marshmallow Moderator Jun 7, 2018

    Horsault , Jun 7, 2018 :
    Because it's a stolen pic from your shelf?

  11. Cheetosdust
    Starting Point Expert Jun 7, 2018

    Cheetosdust , Jun 7, 2018 :
    Because the owner of the house arrived a split second before it was taken? :D

  12. bagrol1
    Cupcake Jun 7, 2018

    bagrol1 , Jun 7, 2018 :
    Would like to use the Shelf, but I don't since I don't use the stock launcher as it doesn't allow to have different number of columns/icons between the main screen and the dock, i.e., I can have 3 icons in the dock and 5 icons in the main area with Nova.

  13. Tobikage
    Nougat Jun 7, 2018

  14. Marwadi_Rahul
    Froyo Jun 7, 2018

    Marwadi_Rahul , Jun 7, 2018 :
    Hi Gary,

    liked your explanation on shelf.
    but could you please do us user a favor and give an option to either choose shelf or google feed(like in stock google launchers) , at least give us choice if we want to use google feed instead of shelf.....

    seriously I dont use shelf....and I really dont like to install launcher apk from apkmirror.....

    Gary C., G_plusone and MarkAle like this.
  15. geo07
    Ice Cream Sandwich Jun 7, 2018

    Gary C. and G_plusone like this.
  16. PradyumnaB
    Gingerbread Jun 7, 2018

    samskeebs27 and G_plusone like this.
  17. youbi
    Portuguese POC Assistant Head Moderator Jun 7, 2018

    youbi , Jun 7, 2018 :
    Like what, can you give some examples?

    Gary C., script and Shivang Joshi like this.
  18. MarkAle
    Gingerbread Jun 7, 2018

    MarkAle , Jun 7, 2018 :
    I guess that there have been an increasingly trend: the use of Google feed. The shelf is nice and useful in some ways, but I guess that many users would prefer the option to use Google feed instead of the shelf.

    Hansgo and Hansota like this.
  19. G_Adam_Evans_xsuL
    Eclair Jun 7, 2018

    G_Adam_Evans_xsuL , Jun 7, 2018 :
    I've just come from an Xperia X which I had the Google feed - that was nice however it isn't as useful as the shelf in my opinion.
    Perhaps the option to have either would be nice - though I'm sticking with the shelf - love the quick view at how my life will be today as well as how the phone is doing.

    Hansota likes this.
  20. the_reckoner
    Ice Cream Sandwich Jun 7, 2018

    G_plusone likes this.