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Let there be water! OnePlus will merge Oxygen OS and Hydrogen OS for faster updates

oneplus merge oxygen hydrogen
Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

It has become more important than ever for manufacturers to deliver timely updates to their Android devices, which means those who drop the ball will be scrutinized more closely than ever before. OnePlus hopes to avoid being placed under that kind of microscope by offering faster software updates, reports XDA Developers.

Most folks are familiar with Oxygen OS, OnePlus’ own take on Android that began life after the company’s relationship with Cyanogen crumbled. However, OnePlus devices in China run Hydrogen OS, a relatively heavier Android skin that, similar to other Chinese manufacturers’ efforts, eschews the traditional app drawer.

Even though this two-pronged approach to Android allows OnePlus to cater to the needs of several markets, it also divides the company’s efforts when it comes to delivering updates to users. As a result, OnePlus decided to not only merge its two Android skins, but the teams behind them as well in an effort to speed up updates.

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“The main benefit of combining our team resources is to speed up software updates,” said a OnePlus spokesperson. “We know we have some room to continue improving there, and this is an important step in the right direction.”

Part of this plan to merge Oxygen and Hydrogen OS is OnePlus’ Community Builds, which are beta builds the company puts out for the community to use and give feedback on. More specifically, it seems that Oxygen OS 3.5 was the first beta build to give users a small look into what the merger might look like.

“With the community build we are experimenting with new ideas and features, and then using the feedback from our community to refine,” said the OnePlus spokesperson. “In fact, the next versions of the community build will address a lot of the feedback we have already received.”

In short, the tweaks made Oxygen OS decidedly less stock Android-like in looks, but the changes might be worth it if it means OnePlus can deliver Android and security updates at a faster clip.