Out with the old, in with the new: LineageOS cut support for Android 9 Pie earlier this year, and to make up for the loss, the open-source project has just released version 18.1 based on Android 11. It comes with official support for about 60 phones and tablets.
OnePlus used to be known for speedy Android updates, but those days have long since passed. While Samsung has already started updating mostofitsrecentflagships to Android 11, the same update has only arrived on two OnePlus phones (the 8 and 8T). OnePlus has now shared a status report on the OxygenOS 11 rollout, providing a rough timeline for the months ahead.
The OnePlus 5 and 5T haven't received any software updates since May, and that update inexplicably removed image stabilization. We had to wait until September for the company to explain itself, revealing that a critical bug had been found in the communication module and that fixing it involved discussion with carriers, further delaying things. Almost two months after the revelation, OnePlus is finally rolling out a new update to the OnePlus 5, fixing the big bad bug, updating the security patch, and restoring stabilization to the camera.
LineageOS is the most popular custom ROM around, bringing new Android updates to abandoned phones, and a stock-like experience (with or without Google software) to newer devices. The last time we covered the project, it added support for a handful of phones from Huawei, Sony, Xiaomi, and OnePlus. Since then, many more devices have made their way to the official roster.
When the OnePlus 5 had 4K electronic image stabilization (EIS) added shortly after launch back in 2017, we were pretty amazed with the results. Unfortunately, OnePlus disabled EIS for the OP5 and OP5T back in May due to a bug. Four months later, OnePlus is clarifying why exactly owners are stuck with shaky video and a dated security patch.
LineageOS is the most-used custom Android ROM around, but that doesn't mean there isn't room for others. Paranoid Android was a popular choice back in the KitKat days, and while the ROM returned in full force with Nougat builds in 2017, there hasn't been much news since. Now the project is back (again), touting Android 10 builds for nine phones so far.
We knew that the Android 10 update for the OnePlus 5 and 5T was just around the corner as the company has been conducting beta trials over the past month. The third Android 10 build came out last week with a long list of fixes and improvements, and now it looks like that was the final beta. A few users took to online forums to report that the two 2017 flagships have started receiving their stable Android 10 OxygenOS builds, though only in small numbers.
OnePlus has been working on a stable Android 10 release for the OnePlus 5 and 5T for some time now, and the company had already rolled out two Open Beta previews. Now with the third build, OnePlus is shipping fixes to some pesky bugs introduced in previous releases, along with other optimizations.
OnePlus’s entire lineup of phones released in the last couple of years is now running Android 10 with an updated version of OxygenOS. With that job done, the company is now shifting its focus to the previous-gen 5-series phones. Within days of halting the Open Betas for the OnePlus 6 and 6T for good, the company has opened the program for the OnePlus 5 and 5T, keeping up with its original release plan for the two 2017 flagships.
As 2019 ends and we enter a new decade, I felt the story of OnePlus deserved a bit more examination. In an email interview with CMO Kyle Kiang, I probed the history of a company that is often as shocking in its successes as it is in its marketing misfires. As it crests its sixth year as a smartphone vendor, it's more competitive than ever, coming a long way from the days when it could barely manage to build enough $349 OnePlus Ones using a tightly controlled and very annoying invitation system.
OnePlus has also transformed in ways I don't believe any of us predicted, going from a scrappy, value-first smartphone maker to a legitimate competitor in a field that includes some of the world's most recognizable brands: Samsung, Apple, and Google.