If you are up on your OnePlus and OnePlus One news then you will know that the company unveiled their alpha build of their first ROM back at the start of January. This was then followed by an official unveiling of the ROM, now known as 'Oxygen OS' at the start of February. As well as officially announcing the name, OnePlus also announced February 12th as the day in which more information will be available. Following this, a teaser was posted about a week afterwards which seemed to suggest that the OSes (Oxygen and Hydrogen) might be landing and available to download on February 12th as well. Well today is that day and as we found out earlier, today was not the day of the OSes.
Instead, of releasing the ROMs, OnePlus took today to announce the team behind the ROM. This largely consisted of a few exports from the Paranoid Android (PA) community. However, that was the extent to what we found out from the announcement. Although, it was also advised the new recruits would be holding a reddit AUAA (Ask Us Almost Anything) today at 8am PST time. Well, that has also just about wrapped up and so here are the highlights and a better understanding of what we know about Oxygen OS.
The big question on everybody's lips will be 'when' and according to the AUAA, Oxygen OS will land next month. No details were given as to when in next month, but either way, it does not seem to be landing in February. Besides the launch date, we were also made privy to a few more details about the ROM. For those that want to know, it seems Oxygen OS will land out as Android 5.0.2 (Lollipop) at first. This will not migrate directly as Android 5.1, although in time will probably be updated. In terms of how you access Oxygen OS, the AUAA announced that Oxygen OS will not be available as an OTA. At least not in the short term. There was no clear answer given as to whether the OnePlus 2 will come with Oxygen out of the box. Either way though, Oxygen OS will not be available as an OTA on the One and will require users to flash the ROM to get the experience. In short, will be released in a download-only format.
In terms of what to expect from the actual ROM, well the big recurring theme from the AUAA was that Oxygen will be as close-to-stock android as possible. In answering one question about this 'closeness to stock' and whether it will be similar to Motorola's level of close-to-stock, the new team answered "It will be closer to Stock then something like MIUI so definitely Motorola". Oxygen OS will also apparently come with the Google launcher as standard (at first) with no mention of a dedicated native launcher in the works. In terms of cameras (which is a big deal for OnePlus One owners) it seems gone are the Cyanogen offerings and instead Oxygen will come with the Google Camera. So no major camera reworkings in the near-term future. In terms of what else is not coming with Oxygen, there will be no multi-window feature and Oxygen will not come with root-enabled out of the box. You will have to root yourself.
In terms of the long game, the team did announce that the One will be supported (in terms of Oxygen) for at least another year. This presumably means when the two-year life expectancy of the One (mid-2016) expires. At which point there was no indication of further OTA support. Interestingly, it also seems that Oxygen will not officially be offered to any other manufacturer devices. In spite of its close-to-stock nature, Oxygen will be a OnePlus product designed ROM and will not be officially supported on other devices. Of course, the closer to stock it is, the quicker unofficial ports will become available. So what do you think of the latest information? Is Oxygen OS sounding better or worse the more you hear about it? Happy with parts of the PA team brought in to create the ROM? Let us know your thoughts.