OnePlus Closed Beta signups are now open for the OnePlus 8 and OnePlus 8 Pro, reports indicate.
For clarity, the Closed Beta is OnePlus' testbed for new features and updates. Those are later pushed to the Open Beta before landing on the stable Final Release channel. The Open Beta serves as an intermediary and has already been open for end-users.
Now, users can signup and apply to take part in the much more future-forward, and exclusive, channel of updates for OxygenOS.
What's required for the OnePlus Closed Beta program?
As hinted by the description above and described by OnePlus itself, the Closed Beta is the "closest group to OnePlus staff."
That means that users are gaining access to features for testing that won't be available to the wider OnePlus community for quite some time. And that also means that signing up is only meant to be for those users who can exercise discretion. In fact, OnePlus requires that applicants sign a non-discloser agreement to take part. Breaking that, of course, comes with real-world consequences.
Beyond the NDA, OnePlus also doesn't allow carrier-released OnePlus devices into the Closed Beta. Only users who purchased an unlocked OnePlus 8 or OnePlus 8 Pro will be able to take part. Those who bought through T-Mobile or Verizon are excluded from the running outright.
That's because the software version rolled out to carrier devices, even from OnePlus, are too different from unlocked versions under-the-hood. So releasing the unlocked firmware to locked-down devices can result in unforeseen problems for end-users.
Finally, users need to be willing to be active responders. OnePlus expects those who take part in the Closed Beta to provide "constant" feedback about the experience. That helps push progress on the OS faster and further. And it also helps OnePlus spot bigger issues before they land on more stable variants of the OS. The Closed Beta is, summarily, not intended for users who just want to check out the new features ahead of schedule.
With that said, OnePlus has decided to allow even more users in on the program than it previously has. So up to 250 OnePlus 8-series users will be able to jump on board via the sign-up form.
There won't be quite so many betas this year from OnePlus
Now that OnePlus has opened up its closed beta signups, it's important to note that the company will be doing things a bit differently this time and going forward. It is, in fact, halving the number of releases that will be pushed out. The effect of that will be approximately one Open and two Closed OxygenOS Beta builds per month.
OnePlus' reasons for doing that have been made clear. Predominantly, the company is looking to prevent problems from unstable builds. By giving the development team more time in-between rollouts, it'll be easier for team members to respond to and address any bugs that do crop up. While the firmware will still be unstable, it won't be quite as unstable as before.
That should make things more reliable for anybody confident enough to install the beta on their primary device.