What you need to know
- OnePlus today announced its third Developer Preview for OxygenOS 11.
- The update is built on the final beta for Android 11.
- The OS update includes many visual changes aimed at improving one-handed use, some of which are heavily inspired by Samsung's One UI.
The update includes several major changes to OnePlus' beloved Android skin:
- New visual design (including Weather app, Launcher, Gallery, Notes)
- New layout for more comfortable and convenient one-handed operation
- Always-on display function, including 11 new clock styles
- Live wallpaper that changes according to the time of day
- New OnePlus Sans font that improves readability
- Optimized Dark Mode, including the ability to automatically turn on and off and a shortcut in Quick Settings
- 3 new Zen Mode themes, more timing options, and new Group feature to let you experience Zen Mode with your friends
- New Gallery function that automatically creates a weekly story based on your photos and videos
While we already knew about the launch of the always-on display alongside Android 11, far more interesting are the visual changes, which OnePlus says are designed to improve one-handed use. That language might be familiar to you, since it was also the ethos behind Samsung's One UI design and looking at this side-by-side comparison of the two by the folks at TechDroider, it seems like OnePlus has taken more than a little inspiration from its South Korean rival.
These changes mimic the updates propagated to OnePlus' China-centric skin, HydrogenOS, yesterday.
Owing to a number of system and network stability issues, OnePlus has cautioned users that this early beta is targeted toward power users. So, if you don't have a ton of experience flashing custom ROMs onto your phone, it's probably a good idea to wait for the open beta release that is likely to follow soon. Additionally, if you're using a T-Mobile or Verizon variant of the OnePlus 8/8 Pro, your phone can't install the Developer Preview, either.
Having said all that, if you'd still like to take a crack at OnePlus' new skin, you can find the relevant downloads and the instructions to do so here.
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