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OnePlus extends Oxygen OS support schedule, but it will be on a 'new platform'

It's great to see OnePlus extend coverage, but this "new platform" will likely cause some controversy.

Published onJuly 2, 2021

OnePlus 9 review Oxygen OS 11 apps
Robert Triggs / Android Authority
  • OnePlus just extended the schedule for Oxygen OS updates for some of its major releases.
  • The extension is partially possible thanks to integration with OPPO resources.
  • The announcement includes news that Oxygen OS is “now built on a more stable and stronger platform” that integrates the codebase of Oxygen OS and OPPO’s Color OS.

A few weeks ago, OnePlus revealed that it would be pursuing deeper integration with sister company OPPO. Naturally, this caused concern that the already prevalent “Oppo-ification” of OnePlus would continue to grow.

However, the company also said that merging resources with OPPO would result in better and faster software updates. Now, the company will put its money where its mouth is, as it’s just made some fairly big promises when it comes to extended Oxygen OS updates.

Related: The rise and fall of Oxygen OS

In an official forum post, Oxygen OS product lead Gary C. announced the news. In the post, he lays out exactly which OnePlus phones will see extended updates and for how long. Here’s the summary:

  • Flagships numbered series (including T-series and R-series): The OnePlus 8 series and newer devices will receive three major Android updates and four years of security updates.
  • OnePlus Nord and Nord CE: The first OnePlus Nord and future Nord and Nord CE devices will receive two major Android updates and three years of security updates.
  • OnePlus Nord N series: Starting from OnePlus Nord N10 and N100, all N-series devices will receive one major Android update and three years of security updates.

Notably, the Oxygen OS updates commitment for the flagships is an extension as compared to the usual two major Android upgrades and three years of security patches. Unfortunately, the Nord series appears to not be getting any extra love.

Gary C. also said something else in the post.

‘Now built on a more stable and stronger platform’

OPPO Reno 4 Pro 5G rear logo pattern close up
Ryan-Thomas Shaw / Android Authority

In the post, Gary C. specifically mentions that this new schedule for Oxygen OS updates is directly tied to “our shared resources with OPPO.” This includes the merging of the codebases for Oxygen OS and OPPO’s Color OS that will allow both skins to live on “a more stable and stronger platform.”

Now, this doesn’t mean that Oxygen OS and Color OS will be the same. However, it does mean that the core of Oxygen OS will eventually not be what it is today. OnePlus will start pushing this new platform to current devices along with Android 12.

See also: Color OS 11 based on Android 11 is here: Everything you need to know

This will invariably help speed up Oxygen OS updates as well as Color OS updates because the newly integrated team will not need to maintain two wholly different skins. The skins will still be different, but not quite as different as they are now.

Of course, this also means that OnePlus and OPPO can slowly begin to morph both skins into reflections of one another. It’s not difficult to imagine that the companies could announce the full merging of the two at some point in the future.

For now, though, people who own flagships from the OnePlus 8 series forward can rest assured that three Android upgrades will land on their devices. Hopefully, that won’t come at a huge cost to OnePlus’ brand identity.