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Android O will (sorta) be the end of the road for the OnePlus 3/3T

The phones will continue to get security patches, but as far as major software updates are concerned, Android O is the last stop.

Published onAugust 11, 2017

After the OnePlus 2’s very lukewarm response, there was much rejoicing when the OnePlus 3, and later the OnePlus 3T, turned out to be a return to form for OnePlus. With the company’s attention now on the OnePlus 5, however, it might not come as a huge shock that Oliver Z, OnePlus’ head of product, confirmed that the OnePlus 3/3T will not be given major software updates following Android O.

In an interview with OnePlus’ community manager, Oliver confirmed the eventual move, though the phones will still get security patch updates “for the foreseeable future”:

Android O is going to be the last Android version update we’ll release for OP3/3T. We’ll continue to release security patch updates for the foreseeable future, and offer support for individual application updates.

On one hand, I understand that, the OnePlus 3/3T will have gotten two major software updates by the time Android O lands, a schedule that even Google adheres to with Nexus and Pixel phones. Also, at least OnePlus will still issue security patches for both phones. On the other hand, the OnePlus 3T has only been out for nine months, with the OnePlus 3/3T presumably packing more than sufficient hardware to support at least one more major software update beyond Android O.

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Tinkerers need not worry, since there are bound to be custom ROMs for the OnePlus 3/3T due to their popularity in the ROM community. However, if you are someone who likes to use phones as-is, I feel your pain.

Also ending after the OnePlus 3/3T’s Android O update is the Open Beta Program for the two phones. Oliver confirmed that OnePlus will use the program exclusively for the OnePlus 5.

As for the foreseeable future, OxygenOS on the OnePlus 3/3T will be updated to version 4.5 in the next month or two, though a security patch will arrive “soon.” Finally, Oliver confirmed there are some features, such as the OnePlus 5’s Reading Mode, that will not trickle down to the OnePlus 3/3T due to hardware limitations.

Overall, the news will come as a downer for OnePlus 3/3T owners, but what they should really dread is a repeat performance of the software update situation regarding the OnePlus 2 and OnePlus X. Yuck.

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