[Update: More images] OnePlus may be working on a feature to help you find public charging stations
It’s the month of exciting software releases, as Google dropped the first Android 11 Beta for Pixel devices. Other OEMs like Vivo, iQOO, and OnePlus have released the first set of beta builds for their flagships, and other OEMs like OPPO, Xiaomi, POCO and Realme have promised builds for their flagships as well. These software builds are a good medium for app developers to test out their apps on the latest Android version. But in addition to this, they are also a good source of information on what features to expect out of phones in the near future. We recently spotted the new OnePlus 8 “Ice Blue” color, the 65W Warp Charging feature, and the OnePlus Pods truly wireless earphones in the software build released by OnePlus. Now, we have information that OnePlus is working on a feature to help you find public charging stations.
XDA Senior Member Some_Random_Username discovered new strings in the Settings app within the Android 11 Beta 1 for the OnePlus 8 and OnePlus 8 Pro.
<string name="op_charging_Station_mute_notifications">Mute Notifications</string> <string name="op_charging_station">Charging Stations</string> <string name="op_charging_station_no_station">No charging stations nearby</string> <string name="op_charging_station_summary">Notify when there is a charging station nearby</string> <string name="op_charging_stations">Charging stations</string> <string name="op_charging_stations_off_description">To find the charging stations, location permission is required to detect BLE beacons. Please provide access to location to start using this feature.</string> <string name="op_charging_stations_off_header">To find the charging stations,location permission is required to detect BLE beacons. Please provide access to location to start using this feature.</string> <string name="op_find_charging_stations">Find Stations</string>
The description within these strings indicates that OnePlus is working on building a network of Charging Stations to help its users quickly top up their phones. These Charging Stations will be equipped with BLE beacons that will let them broadcast their identifier to nearby devices (OnePlus phones in this case) and have their location pinpointed to the user. Of course, when the user reaches there, they can charge their device.
We found a graphic asset within the Settings app that gives us a better idea of what to expect:
Digging deeper within the Beta, we discovered that OnePlus has several classes related to this “charging station” feature. These classes include:
- OPChargingStationHeaderController — which has code for getting the distance from the charging station, and the charging station’s name
- OPChargingStationSettings — which has code for toggling a mute option for notifications so the user will not be bothered by charging station notifications anymore
The Beta also has several references to a package name called “com.oneplus.chargingpilar“, which indicates that there will be a companion application needed for this feature to work. We also found several settings preferences related to this feature, including:
This does indicate that the feature would also need to be turned on within the app.
Thanks to PNF Software for providing us a license to use JEB Decompiler, a professional-grade reverse engineering tool for Android applications.
We do not know when OnePlus will announce its Charging Station network, but the presumed OnePlus 8T launch seems like a good time for the same. Keeping in mind that OnePlus is also working on 65W Warp Charging, the Charging Station network could help cement charging upgrades as a highlight feature on the upcoming device series.
However, we do not know at what speeds these Charging Stations would provide, nor do we know whether they will be restricted to newer smartphones. Since we presume that these are physical structures with plug points and/or empty USB ports, it would be a fair assumption that anyone with any smartphone could walk up to these stations for charging their smartphone. The locator could simply help OnePlus users locate these easily through their smartphones. Similar installations already exist at public places like airports and malls, so one can presume that OnePlus will add some uniqueness to their implementation.
The Beta contains no further clues on the regions where this feature would be made available, but the plug point pictured in the graphics looks like the Indian plug point (Type D) — though this might just be intended as a generic image.
We also do not know if OnePlus would pre-load the companion application onto its phones, or if it would be an optional download from the Play Store for its phones and others.
We’ve reached out to OnePlus India for comment. We’ll update the article with their response.
Update: OnePlus Charging Station spotted at Bengaluru Airport, India
Shortly after our article was published, Twitter user @UrAvgHomoSapien informed us that OnePlus Charging Stations are already installed at the international airport in Bengaluru, India.
— Akash Gupta (@UrAvgHomoSapien) June 15, 2020
The OnePlus Charging Station, as installed at the departure terminal at Kempegowda International Airport Bengaluru, features two USB Type-A ports that support 30W Warp Charging for OnePlus devices. There is also an international plug for other gadgets.
With this new information, one can expect more such charging stations to pop up in India. The app that OnePlus is working on will thus help users locate a station close to them. It is possible that OnePlus will also update these Charging Stations to support 65W Warp Charging support as well.