AH Customization Weekly: Two More ROMs Land In The Form Of OxygenOS and HydrogenOS

AH Custom sees the start of a new feature here at Android Headlines, which will look to bring insight on what is going on within the custom side of Android. Be it a hot new ROM, fork of android, app or feature. If it comes from the custom or alternative world of android, we will let you know. This edition was supposed to start the ball rolling with a quick roundup of a couple fo CM12 themes which were doing the rounds. That said, the ball dropped last night when OnePlus suddenly announced the release of not one, but two, homegrown ROM's. As such, it is almost impossible not to start a custom feature off without talking about this.

So, yes, last night, OnePlus unveiled their latest (and first) ROMs in the form of OxygenOS and HydrogenOS. At the moment, the details are pretty sketchy as to what we can expect from these OSes. However, we do know that Oxygen will make its way to the global devices (basically, everywhere other than China) while Hydrogen will be for non-global devices (basically, China). So why make two? Well, this is an interesting question and although there is no clear answer, it does bring to light that there must be significant differences between the two, for the two to even exist. With that in mind, at least one of them (if not both of them) cannot be too close to stock android. Or maybe that is the point. Maybe Oxygen will be literally stock with very light OnePlus touches, to satisfy the android purists out there (hence Oxygen...light and breathable). While Hydrogen will be more skin-laden with much more of a heavy UI interface?

This brings some more recent news into play. We have known for awhile that OnePlus had been working on their own OS or ROM (by the way, long before the whole Cyanogen issue arose). So that in itself, was not new news. That said, the idea of two OSes was never really considered. After all, it is hard enough to bring one decent OS to market, right! More to the point, recently, a rumor began circulating that OnePlus had hired the (whole) team behind IUNI's IUNI_OS, to build their OnePlus OS. For those that don't know, IUNI is another Chinese manufacturer who have gained good traction in the Chinese domestic market. So, it would make sense, that although this was just a rumor, maybe it is this IUNI team who are specifically working on Hydrogen. After all, IUNI knows that market. So, maybe we should be thinking of Oxygen as a lightweight (un-IUNI) version of Hydrogen. Maybe!

Either way, it seems like we will have to wait until February 13th, when we are due to get the next big dose of H20 news. This is the date OnePlus have announced more information will be released. Whether this will be an actual beta build of the ROM (remember we already saw an alpha build released at the start of the year), who knows. In the meantime, if you are a developer or user of a custom ROM, feature or app which you think people should know about, then click here to get in contact with us and hopefully will feature it soon in another AH Custom.

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About the Author

John Anon

John has been writing about and reviewing tech products since 2014 after making the transition from writing about and reviewing airlines. With a background in Psychology, John has a particular interest in the science and future of the industry. Besides adopting the Managing Editor role at AH John also covers much of the news surrounding audio and visual tech, including cord-cutting, the state of Pay-TV, and Android TV. Contact him at [email protected]