OnePlus has this week announced that it is making available a number of its core OxygenOS apps through the Google Play Store. The purpose being to allow users to receive updates to these apps in a more timely fashion and certainly quicker than waiting for larger OTA updates to roll out and be received by the company's devices.
The apps confirmed as now available through the Google Play Store include the OnePlus Launcher app, the OnePlus Community app, the OnePlus Weather app, and the OnePlus Gallery app. Collectively, OnePlus has announced this as if it was a new feature and under the common "Individual Application Update" banner. However, the process remains the same as what many other device manufacturers are now already doing. In terms of the restrictions, the only notable one that OnePlus lists is that the Individual Application Update process is only available to owners of the OnePlus 5, the OnePlus 3, and the OnePlus 3T. As a result, going forward those owners will now be able to directly update any of the listed apps directly from the Google Play Store when new versions become available.
Speaking of which, during the same announcement OnePlus also confirmed that the OnePlus Launcher will be the first to see an updated version coming through the Google Play Store as a new version has become available to download this week. According to the changelog for that update, the OnePlus Launcher is gaining an "optimized home screen folder icon" which essentially allows the user to preview the first four icons within the folder. This in addition to double finger touch support, folder markings that advise when a folder has already been opened, and the usual bug fixes and improvements. Those interested in checking out the updated version of the OnePlus Launcher can do so through the first link below. Likewise, below are the links for the rest of the OnePlus-specific apps that are part of the Individual Application Update, although at present none of the other apps are showing a recently updated version. Needless to say, if you do not own a OnePlus device (and specifically the 5, 3, or 3T) then these links will not be of much use.