OnePlus co-founder Pete Lau now says that the company is sticking with OxygenOS. After six months of customer complaints, it seems that the company no longer wants to merge its operating system with ColorOS, the software utilized by its sister company Oppo.
Back in September, OnePlus confirmed that it would officially merge with Oppo. The move made sense—as explained by Pete Lau, the companies already shared developers, engineers, technology, and smartphone components.
But OnePlus customers were disappointed to hear that OxygenOS, a lightweight Android experience with some fan-favorite exclusive features, would combine with Oppo’s bulky ColorOS. Maybe “combine” isn’t the right word here; OnePlus’ first attempt at this “unified” operating system, the OxygenOS 12 release, was little more than a reskinned ColorOS with a ton of bugs.
In a new blog post discussing OnePlus’ future, Pete Lau confirms rumors that OxygenOS 13 will split from ColorOS. The decision appears to be permanent. While OxygenOS and ColorOS will continue to share their codebase and three-year update cycle, the operating systems will “remain independent brand properties.”
While OxygenOS and ColorOS will continue to be developed on the same codebase — to allow for faster updates and better build quality — OxygenOS and ColorOS will remain independent brand properties. This new course was taken in accordance with feedback from our Community.
Bear in mind that OxygenOS 13 may still feel a bit different from previous OxygenOS releases. Pete Lau says that OnePlus wants “to deliver an experience that long-time OnePlus users will be familiar with,” but that may be a difficult undertaking, given that OxygenOS now shares a codebase with ColorOS.
Our software philosophy for OxygenOS has always been to offer users a light and clean experience that is close to stock Android and oriented towards usage globally. With OxygenOS 13, we want to deliver an experience that long-time OnePlus users will be familiar with … OxygenOS 13 will retain its unique visual design and a range of exclusive customization features.
Several devices released by OnePlus, including the OnePlus 9 Pro, will receive the OxygenOS 13 update in late 2022 or early 2023. Of course, the update won’t be ready until Google releases Android 13.
Notably, Pete Lau also states that the OnePlus 10 Pro, currently a China exclusive, will see a global release in March. While this phone ships with OxygenOS 12, it will receive OxygenOS 13 in a future update.