OnePlus' OxygenOS Android ROM due next month

OnePlus will release its own Android ROM next month, offering a proprietary alternative to CyanogenMod.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer

OnePlus will launch its custom Android ROM OxygenOS next month - with a little help from the developers of Paranoid Android.

OnePlus is saying goodbye to CyanogenMod, the Android ROM that it had previously using for its OnePlus One devices globally, and is preparing to release a new alternative, OxygenOS, that it's developed in-house.

CyanogenMod is the most popular non-Google Android ROM on the market and was a standout feature of the OnePlus One. The handset was one of the first devices to ship with CyanogenMod pre-installed, meaning users didn't have to flash their device and risk voiding their warranty. The first smartphone to use CyanogenMod was the Oppo N1 from Oppo.

However, OnePlus moved away from using the CyanogenMod after Cyanogen, the startup behind the ROM, struck an exclusive deal with Indian smartphone maker Micromax to use it on the company's devices sold in India. OnePlus had intended to ship its OnePlus One handsets running CyanogenMod to India but was barred after losing a court case brought by Micromax.

As a result, OnePlus decided to build its own ROM, giving it more control over the software. The plan will come to fruition next month with the first release of its Lollipop-based OxygenOS, the company confirmed in a Reddit AMA yesterday.

OnePlus' international boss Carl Pei said using its own OS will allow tighter integration between its devices, software, and cloud services.

"By creating our own software, we're better able to work directly with our users to improve our OS. It's something we've become quite fond of saying: when we work together, amazing things happen," Pei said on the company's blog.

OnePlus has also tapped some talented developers to deliver OxygenOS, including key developers behind Paranoid Android, another Android ROM behind popular features such as Pie Controls and customisable quick settings.

Pei said that OxygenOS will not ship with bloatware, carrying across the general ethos of alternative ROMs like CyanogenMod.

"We're keeping it clean and streamlined for performance. We value things like battery life and system efficiency, so we've remained true to our ROM's namesake and created a seamless experience that is lightweight and essential," he noted.

OnePlus didn't give away much about the design of Oxygen at yesterday's AMA. However, Pei said that the ROM will not be open source (it's got its own proprietary drivers) and that it will be up to owners to decide whether to flash it to their devices. It's also not ruling out an alternative to CyanogenMod's Privacy Guard feature.

The first release of the ROM will also ship with Google's camera app by default; however the company is developing its own equivalent for a future release.

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