Besides the competitive price tag, OnePlus phones made headlines because of their OS, the OxygenOS. It is considered the closest to stock Android OS by a manufacturer other than Google. Some people even prefer the OxygenOS over Google’s stock android found on Pixel devices. This seamlessly lightweight OS from OnePlus has a lot of perks and every year it keeps on improving. There are a couple of features that OnePlus fans are hoping will come to the next OxygenOS 11 version which is based on Android 11.
When will your OnePlus device get Android 11?
OnePlus has released Android 11 DP 3 with OxygenOS 11 on August 10 for OnePlus 8 series. Initially, technically-inclined community members will test out some of the new features of OxygenOS 11. After fixing major bugs, the company will release a full open beta to all interested OnePlus users. The stable Android 11 update with OxygenOS 11 to eligible OnePlus devices will likely be released in October 2020.
Oneplus keeps it clean when it comes to their UI, OxygenOS. They make very few alterations to the official Android version from Google which works in their favour to roll out updates in a short interval of time. Even last year around, we witnessed OnePlus being one of the earliest OEMs to roll out Android 10 based OxygenOS 10 for the flagship devices (OnePlus 7 and OnePlus 7 Pro).
OnePlus also follows on Google’s trend of launching a developer version of new Android followed by beta releases and finally the stable release. Now we already have Android 11 developer preview as well as Beta 3. So, Android 11 beta developer preview is here for OnPlus 8 series. As of now, OnePlus has not come up with a roadmap for stable Android 11 but we can expect in Q3 of 2020. Currently, OnePlus is preparing for beta build rollout to eligible devices. Finally, within a few weeks of Google’s official stable Android 11 launch, we will see OnePlus too pushing out an OxygenOS 11 update (based on Android 11) for their OnePlus devices.
OnePlus 8 and 8 Pro users can get the taste of Android 11 based OxygenOS 11
Update September 24: OnePlus 8 and 8 Pro OxygenOS 11 Open Beta 1 and Beta 2 is now available.
Google released the first Android 11 beta for pixel device users in June 2020. OnePlus in collaboration with Google was also brought the first beta for OnePlus 8 and OnePlus 8 Pro users. Now, Google has released its Beta 3 build. So, Oneplus is also rolling out the third beta/ developer preview 3 based on OxygenOS 11 to their flagship devices. The company may soon provide an early build of Android 11 to other compatible OnePlus devices. Please note, this Android 11 beta build is suitable for developers only. So, do not flash this ROM if you have little to no experience in flashing custom ROMs.
OnePlus Nord Closed Beta
OnePlus has announced the closed beta program for OnePlus Nord. It looks the company will start testing OxygenOS 11 (Android 11) build for OnePlus Nord. You can participate in the program by filling in an application form here.
List of OnePlus phones eligible for Android 11 update
- OnePlus Nord 5G
- OnePlus 8
- OnePlus 8 Pro
- OnePlus 7T
- OnePlus 7T Pro
- OnePlus 7
- OnePlus 7 Pro
- OnePlus 6
- OnePlus 6T
- OnePlus 7T Pro McLaren Edition
- OnePlus 6T Pro McLaren Edition
OnePlus is generous when it comes to Android updates and unlike Samsung which only offers two major Android updates (except flagships), OnePlus usually provides three major Android updates. OnePlus 3/3T came with Marshmallow out of the box and ended with Pie in the end. Similarly OnePlus 5/5T came with Nougat out of the box and it is said that OnePlus will push out Android 10 update for these two old devices. From this, it is sure that OnePlus 6/6T users can rest easy as both of these devices will also receive the Android 11 based OxygenOS 11 update. Surely it will take longer than the newer OnePlus devices, but it will be there in 2021.
OxygenOS 11 Developer Preview 3: Is this the end of “clean” OxygenOS?
Google released the developer preview of Android 11 just a few days and like most of the other IEMs Oneplus has also released a beta version of Android 11 for their UI OxygenOS. The latest beta build released was the developer preview 3 of OxygenOS 11 and so far there have been mixed feelings among the Oneplus users for it. For some, it is about getting a new UI look so everything looks like a refresh, but there are some who just feel that it is a clone of One UI by Samsung.
Oneplus started out as a brand that delivered a good performance to price ratio but things are starting to change. In 2020, we now have the Oneplus 8 Pro tackling the flagships with a similar price tag as the other flagships. And now with the release of OxygenOS 11 DP 3, we are now witnessing Oneplus deviating from their plan of clean software experience. It is not all bad though as there are some new features that were heavily anticipated before the arrival of OxygenOS 11 but the user experience is surely quite different than what Oneplus users are used to. How the people take this software change or will there be any changes in the stable build? We don’t know but as of now let’s take a look at the changes coming to OxygenOS with the release of the beta builds for Android 11.
The OxygenOS 11 DP 3 is already out there. As per the changelog, OxygenOS 11 will come with new visual design, new layout for convenient one-handed operation, Always-on display function, Live wallpapers, OnePlus Sans font, Optimized Dark Mode, Zen Mode themes, Improved Gallery function and Updated Settings menu.
A little screen recording overview pic.twitter.com/QCgtNFAUuO
— Max Weinbach (@MaxWinebach) August 11, 2020
OxygenOS 11 Features
Oneplus has confirmed the major changes and features coming to the stable build of Android 11 based OxygenOS 11 which is releasing later this year. We will take a detailed look at these confirmed changes coming with the OxygenOS 11.
1. Always-on Display(AOD):
Probably the most anticipated feature for OxygenOS 11 is the Always On Display feature. Almost all the other IEMs have this feature but Oneplus has been very slow on this. We have always heard rumours about OxygenOS getting the Always On Display feature but it did not happen in the past. Finally, things have changed and now we have the Always On Display feature. This feature is accessible through the customization menu present in the phone’s settings. There a number of interfaces to choose from here and the added bonus is that you also see a feature for scheduled on and off. If you want to preserve your battery more, you can choose to just turn this feature on and have the always-on display between a specific time frame.
2. New System UI:
As mentioned above, much of the OxygenOS 11 UI interface looks similar to Samsung’s OneUI here. From blank space, white spacing, to basic app spacing, everything resembles a lot to OneUI. This does help with one-handed usage but it also takes away the near-stock clean Android experience that Oneplus users so dearly love. Those who have used this beta build have criticized Oneplus a lot on this move and we will have to wait and see if Oneplus actually brings this to the stable version or we will see a better implementation of Android 11 in OxygenOS 11.
One of the most notable changes is the arrival of the new font, Oneplus Sans. It will replace Oneplus Slate and for those who really love this font will have difficulties for sure. But those users who use the Noto Sans, don’t need to worry though as that will still be there as the default font in OxygenOS.
3. New OxygenOS apps:
With changes coming into the rest of the UI, Oneplus had to do something about their system apps. Apps like OnePlus Messages, Weather, Notes, Gallery, and others have been tweaked in this new iteration to go in sync with the changes in the rest of the UI. We now have larger typefaces for all these apps so as to make the interface more reachable. Reachability is something that Oneplus is giving a priority to with this OxygenOS iteration but that is also taking away the signature clean looking interface that everybody loves. Now the system apps look like a mixture of Oppo’s ColorOS and Samsung OneUI and there is nothing in there that looks anything like OxygenOS anymore.
— OnePlus (@oneplus) August 17, 2020
4. Revamped Zen Mode:
The Zen Mode has been tweaked this time around with changes coming to the minutes that you can set for your phone to stay in Zen mode. The set limits now are at 1, 20, 30, 40, 60, 90, and 120 minutes. That is not all though. Now we also have a feature called Zen room in the Zen mode that lets users team up and together set their phones in Zen mode. This will mean people in a group now can take time away from their smartphones together.
5. Live Wallpaper:
There is also the addition of a new Wallpaper that changes throughout the course of the day. This will be appreciated by many of those people who love the customization features of OxygenOS.
Now we are still a few months away from the official launch of OxygenOS 11 but the amount of criticism that the developer preview of OxygenOS 11 is receiving outweighs the number of people who actually love these new UI changes. How Oneplus responds to this criticism is something we will see with time. As of now though, things don’t look that good for the OxygenOS 11. It is like Oneplus is moving from the things that made people like them in the first place.