Chinese smartphone maker OnePlus has finally released its new Android Lollipop-based operating system dubbed OxygenOS. The release comes after much delay, as the ROM was initially promised to be delivered in February, then March, before finally being released in April.
OnePlus mentions this is the first version of the OS and it released it so users can provide feedback to help improve the system. The phone-maker has even created a feedback app for users using the ROM, to directly report bugs to the development team.
To install the new OS, users will need to flash a recovery onto their device. Users will also need to install Fastboot and ADB on the host device running either windows or osX, the standard procedure for installing any custom ROM. On install OxygenOS looks pretty much like vanilla Android, with a few added features like gesture support among others. Note that OnePlus itself tell users to be cautious as flashing going wrong can void user warranty.
“Please proceed only if you are confident in your abilities to flash a custom ROM. This guide exists to help you flash OxygenOS, but things can still go wrong if not followed correctly. While rooting and flashing will not void your OnePlus warranty, any damage caused by improper flashing is not covered under warranty.”
OnePlus’s flagship device the One is currently supported by at least five different ROMs which are based on Lollipop. However, what makes OxygenOS unique is that it will likely receive OTA updates in the future, which most custom roms are unable to offer. Essentially, this ROM will aim to shift OnePlus One users away from Cyanogenmod’s offering into its own eco-system.
Cyanogenmod OTA: Earlier this year, when OnePlus released the 16GB version of its phone in February, we mentioned that OnePlus does not really have an operating system to offer in India, as Micromax had signed an exclusive agreement with Cyanogenmod for its OS in the country. However, the hatchet now seems buried, as last month Carl Pei, director of OnePlus, said that Indian users will receive the new build of the CyanogenMod operating system as an over-the-air update.
This brings us to the core question, why switch to OxygenOS? Both operating systems are similar, they both feature close to stock features of Android and both will receive OTA updates. Cyanogenmod even has a few advantages, its already preinstalled on all OnePlus phones, while switching to OxygenOS requires effort from the user, with the risk of data/phone loss. The former also has the advantage of an ecosystem of supported apps and themes, while the latter is still being bug tested. Cyanogenmod 12 will also be likely available to users within a week, making the choice pretty straightforward for regular users. Power users on the other hand, might want to give the new OS a whirl for fun.
OnePlus in India: In November last year, OnePlus had appointed Vikas Agarwal as the general manager of OnePlus India, responsible for setting up OnePlus’s operations in the country, building a local team and launching OnePlus One in the country. The company was also looking to set up a research and development centre in Bangalore the next month. It had mentioned then that it would even consider manufacturing in India if the conditions were right.
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