OnePlus is reportedly preparing to merge its Oxygen OS and Hydrogen OS firmwares to accelerate update delivery. This would be done by merging development teams for each platform, along with the code for each. The priority behind making this move looks to be a focus on speeding up an often-lagging update schedule.
A report published on XDA gave us the first look at OnePlus's plans. Although no clear timescale for the merger has been provided just yet, OnePlus is making a clear statement that it's making this project a high priority. However, there are inherent challenges is providing only one firmware to all markets. Customer taste and cultural differences are varied across different continents. This is one of the challenges manufacturers face with providing the same hardware and software in both China and the US, for example.
Clarification: OnePlus contacted us to say that team resources would be combined to improve efficiency, but that the operating systems would remain separate entities. Here is the statement directly from OnePlus:
"We are unifying the platform and combining our team resources to improve overall efficiency. On the user end, we will keep OxygenOS for our global users, while HydrogenOS will continue to be optimized for the China Market."
A streamlining of software development processes has its obvious advantages. While there are challenges in satisfying everyone's design and functionality tastes, OnePlus can more easily focus efforts where it counts most. While there was a lot of attention paid to updates for the OnePlus 3 just after it went on sale, the OnePlus X, for example, has so far had relatively little – including the Marshmallow update.
Streamlining of software development processes has its obvious advantages
In XDA's report, a OnePlus spokesperson said the changes were the right course of action for the company. "The main benefit of combining our team resources is to speed up software updates. We know we have some room to continue improving there, and this is an important step in the right direction," the spokesperson said. According to the initial report, it appears that the foundation of these merged firmwares will be Oxygen OS 3.5, the latest build.
What do you think of this merger plan? How do you feel about OnePlus update schedules so far? Let us know in the comments.