OnePlus 8 ProSource: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central

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.

Hot on the heels of Google's release of the final Android 11 beta, OnePlus too has announced the third iteration of its Android 11 Developer Preview for the OnePlus 8 and 8 Pro.

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.

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Oneplus Android 11 Developer Preview 3 Oneplus Android 11 Developer Preview 3 Oneplus Android 11 Developer Preview 3Source: TechDroider

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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