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 will probably be based on Android 11.
When will your OnePlus device get Android 11?
OnePlus has confirmed via its community forum that OxygenOS 11 final developer preview will be released on August 10. 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.
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 2 build. So, Oneplus is also rolling out the second beta update 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 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 1. 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 update (based on Android 11) for their OnePlus devices.
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 is generous when it comes to Android updates and unlike Samsung which only offers two major Android updates, 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 features wish list
Improved dark mode:
Dark mode became a reality for everyone after Android 10 was launched with it. However, it is still in its early phases as there are still a lot of things missing from the dark mode. Even when we consider a pixel phone, we get a toggle in the notification shade to enable it, or we can also head into the settings menu. There is nothing about scheduled night mode depending upon the time of the day. So a customizable turn on/off feature of night mode is very much expected from OnePlus this year on upcoming OxygenOS 11. They would also do better if they add a toggle to turn it on and off instantaneously by just swiping down at any time. As of now, one needs to head over to settings, then customization options and then change the theme to dark to enable dark mode.
This is kind of like old news now as this is feature OnePlus users have been expecting since the company first launched an Android phone with an always-on display. Surely wireless charging and official water resistance is something that everyone talks about, but no always-on feature on an AMOLED display is just unheard of. It has been three or four years since OnePlus users have been asking for it, and it is time that OnePlus finally responds to it. Yes, there is a feature that turns the display on if you lift the phone, but as soon as the phone is placed on a flat surface, the screen turns off again.
Update: OnePlus CEO Pete Lau on his Twitter account posted a teaser which shows a clock with the hour hand pointing at 11. This hints OnePlus will likely add Always On Display feature in upcoming OxgenOS 11. We may see the AOD feature with the upcoming OnePlus 8T series. There is no guarantee that whether older devices will get the AOD feature or not.
Google Feed/Discoverer instead of the shelf in the launcher
OnePlus’s launcher is closest to a clean free interface other than Google’s stock android version. When you swipe to the left on the wallpaper screen, you are taken to a special screen which is OnePlus’s signature service “shelf”. It is mostly used to jot down notes and even open up widget that takes up most of the home screen. However, there is a better alternative than this. This is not a bothersome feature from OnePlus at all but a better alternative is out there. It’s the Google Discover/Feed content list that probably all will appreciate. And yes, it is already available in a bunch of OnePlus phones, specifically speaking in the T-Mobile branded versions of OnePlus phones.
More options in customization:
In terms of customization, OxygenOS has always been one of the best ones out there, but now a little bit of refreshment is very much expected. Some other font styles other than Roboto and OnePlus Slate will be appreciated. Maybe a completely new set of wallpapers to freshen things, with changes on the lock screen settings. Hopefully, an always-on display will add on to the list too with Android 11 based OxygenOS 11 software update.
Subtle animation for fingerprint scanner:
OnePlus is one of the first companies to use in-display fingerprint scanners on their phones. And with an attempt to make the new technology flashy, they went ahead with several animations that pop up when someone uses the fingerprint scanner on the lock screen. However looking at how clean the OxygenOS is, a flashy animation just does not make sense at all. Any OxygenOS fan would just want a subtle animation with priority given to making the unlocking speed faster. There is an option to turn the animation completely off, but that just does not work as well.
The all-clear button alignment:
The clear button that is found when one pulls down the notifications menu, or open the recent app list, is placed in a position that is very easy to touch accidentally. It is placed exactly in the position where there is the fingerprint scanner which makes it that much easier to tap on it unintentionally. However, this is just a concern for a few though, and probably something that OnePlus won’t look into in the future too.
OnePlus IDEAS Initiative
OnePlus announced its IDEAS initiative to gather feature suggestions for OxygenOS. Now, the OS product team has picked five most popular features to include in future builds of OxygenOS. OnePlus has confirmed via a post on the official forum that they will add five new features in the OS. The confirmed features are Always on Display, Adding more essential features to Zen Mode, Play sound when the battery is fully charged, Folders within the app drawer, and Enable fingerprint lock for hidden pictures in the gallery.