OnePlus's OxygenOS skin is known for being a lightweight (at least until recently), customizable take on stock Android, but it doesn't run on all the company's devices. Google Play Services isn't available in China, so OnePlus phones in the Chinese market run software called HydrogenOS that's optimized for the region. The latest version of the OS adds features like an always-on display, redesigned weather app, and an updated dark theme — some of which could make their way into OxygenOS 11.
Some of the new features coming to the Android 11-based HydrogenOS release include a new smarter gallery app, a Pixel-esque voice recorder, and of course, an always-on display option. Many of the updates are in service of creating an inclusive design that is meant to make information more easily digestible. An improved dark mode is also in the works, as is an upgrade for Zen mode that adds support for multiple users.
The updated dark mode is certified to meet WCAG accessibility standards for visually impaired users.
The developer preview of HydrogenOS 11 is available to download in China, although the company notes that most users wanting a stable experience shouldn't install it yet. The additions and improvements coming to OnePlus' Chinese phones should make all its customers excited. HydrogenOS may only be meant for the Chinese market, but it seems likely that many of these same features will be considered for inclusion in OxygenOS as well. OnePlus announced the merging of the OxygenOS and HydrogenOS teams back in 2016 in order to share resources and simplify development. The company has already started to tease what's in store for the upcoming OxygenOS release, and I'm sure it won't be long before it's ready to share more.
- XDA Developers