OnePlus explains why it moved away from stock Android
What you need to know
- OnePlus is moving OxygenOS away from a stock Android design to one that hews more closely towards Samsung's OneUI.
- The company says the move is part of a desire to improve stock Android.
- OxygenOS's redesign is intended to improve one-hand usability on large devices, a space the company says Google's own software isn't good at.
OxygenOS is getting a redesign with version 11, and it has proved to be controversial with fans. The software is moving away from what one could see as a system inspired by Google's stock Android to one that more closely resembles other Android OEMs.
OnePlus today shared the reasoning behind that, writing on their official forums (opens in new tab):
The company further noted that the changes were also being done to adapt Android to one-handed mobile use:
As far as design philosophies go, it's not a novel one. Samsung's OneUI was created with the same reasoning in mind, and Huawei's EMUI magazine redesign was also built to be more suitable for one-handed use. As phones grow bigger, Google's stock Android indeed lacks many of the adaptions that OEMs have made to accommodate them — including features Apple's more restricted iOS offers.
Despite all that, OnePlus stands to disappoint fans, many of whom have chosen it for its stock Android-like looks and even affectionately refer it as stock+. While OnePlus has never been shy about trying to improve on stock Android, some forum users have expressed that they find a visual change like this a bridge too far.
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Yeah, I'm pretty sure that'll be a compromise no one will bother to make.
Unlike what Google fanboys like to tell themselves, most people don't want nor like stock Android. They prefer functionality. And that, stock Android doesn't have. The only sin OnePlus is committing here is not having moved away from it sooner.
On the other hand, now that they understand where user hands actually reach, maybe it's time to stop making only oversized phones.
Chromecast: stock Google's only hardware success ... solely because it was so cheap. When Roku and Amazon matched its price point, its market share plummeted like a stone. Guess what folks. No one likes stock Android. Or to put it more broadly, no one likes Google product design. Had Google not allowed OEMs like Samsung to make changes, Windows Mobile would be #2 right now with Android alongside RSS Reader in the Google graveyard. You would have tons of Windows Mobile sites debating endlessly over whether Samsung or Nokia make better Windows phone and tablets.