(Pocket-lint) - Having merged some of its departments with Oppo earlier this year, OnePlus has revealed a little more detail on what this combined Oppo/OnePlus company will look like. And a big part of that vision is a unified OS.
From 2022, OnePlus will launch phones running the first version of a combined ColorOS/OxygenOS software that's based on Android 12.
What that means specifically is that the next flagship OnePlus phone - likely the OnePlus 10 launching next year - will run a software that's built on a codebase that takes the best of OxygenOS and ColorOS.
Pete Lau, the OnePlus and Oppo CEO, confirmed this move in a briefing with Pocket-lint, and also stated that the first 2022 OnePlus flagship will be the next one. That means there's no OnePlus 9T or 9T Pro this year.
For those OnePlus fans worried that this will drastically change the experience of using a OnePlus phone, Lau was keen to note that the software on OnePlus phones will still retain that lightweight appearance, but adds to it with more features.
Because OnePlus users have a preference for this speedy and light software, the unified OS will be customised to match that expectation.
The company hasn't yet given any specific details on exactly which elements are changing in OxygenOS or which bits are being added from ColorOS, but the Nord 2 did give us a small glimpse of some of the changes.
For instance, the Nord 2's version of OxygenOS had Oppo's camera app and software update page, but still kept the settings menu very light and clean compared to Oppo's.
OnePlus will also keep the ad-free, bloat-free approach to software, and because OnePlus users often like tinkering a lot more than others, the bootloader will remain unlockable.
While the first unified OS phones will be the OnePlus flagships in 2022, the unification of the software across the global Oppo and OnePlus brands will be completed later on in the year, when the next version of Android is release.
As for older devices getting updated to the new software, Lau told Pocket-lint that some older devices will, others won't. For instance, the OnePlus 8 and OnePlus 9 series will be updated. And because the combined software team of Oppo and OnePlus is now larger, they will get updates for longer and receive them more frequently too.
It's not just in software that OnePlus and Oppo have combined efforts either. There's very much a sense that there's now a much larger pool of resources for both brands as a whole.
There's a belief within the company that OnePlus can lead the phone camera industry now, with increased R&D resources and with the partnership with Hasselblad. The latter is there for the expertise in colour processing/callibration.
Along with the announcement of its unified OS, OnePlus also stated that it would continue to launch its flagship series phones globally, but take a more fine-tuned approach to its more affordable devices.
That means we're likely to see different mid-range devices in different regions, similar to how we already see it with the Nord, R-series and N-series phones.
The big news here is that by the end of 2022, all OnePlus and Oppo phones will be running - essentially - the same unified OS, but that there will still be some differences tuned to the expectations of those who buy products from the different brands.