back to article So long, Cyanogen! OnePlus says its future belongs to OxygenOS

Upstart quasi-Android smartphone maker OnePlus says it has hired an assortment of "Android rockstars" for its OxygenOS team, who will be in charge of developing the homegrown firmware that will soon ship as standard on its phones. "Our team has some of the most talented industrial designers and mechanical engineers in the …

  1. Khaptain Silver badge

    Just another Distro

    Ok so how does this change from being just another distro.

    When I initially read the article I thought that someone was going to build an OS from the ground up but this is not the case. If AOSP is being used as the base won't this automatically relegate them into a trailing position, premanantly one step behind Google, since AOSP releases depend on Google's releasing them when it see fit?

    1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: Just another Distro

      BINGO.

      AOSP remains wholly dependent on Google for the higher level parts of Android (the low levels, kernel, firmware are often contributed by phone vendors - example Sony Ericsson and now Sony). So if Google decides to delay the source release for an arbitrary period (as they did with Android 3.0) there is bugger all anyone working off AOSP can do.

      1. RyokuMas Silver badge
        WTF?

        Re: Just another Distro

        "So if Google decides to delay the source release for an arbitrary period (as they did with Android 3.0) there is bugger all anyone working off AOSP can do."

        So let me get this straight. You're saying that Android - which is often crowed about by the anti-Microsoft brigade as a victory of open source over proprietary - is actually dependent on Google as to the availability of the latest version of its "open" source code? That anyone working on a pull from the AOSP might find their work scuppered by changes from Google that were unreleased at the time they made said pull?

        Can you provide a link to where you're getting this information from?

        And before the downvotes start - this is not intended as a troll. But if you can provide links from credible sources that verify what you're claiming here, it could go a long way towards shutting up the real trolls...

        1. djack

          Re: Just another Distro

          I'm guessing here, but I think it's more of a case of won't instead of can't and it is all down to app compatibility. Device manufacturers and therefore app developers will follow Google's releases. Third parties can develop their own new APIs or change coire functionality to their heart's content, but when Google produces their own equivalent all of that is dead work.

          Therefore pretty much everyone waits for the big G and just adds niche additions or their own brand of polish.

          I'm not saying it can't happen but any true fork has to have enough traction to make it worthwhile. For example, ISTR that initially Ubuntu followed Debian releases and Mint now seems to be emerging from under Ubuntu's release shadow.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Just another Distro

          I don't think you really understand how open source works...

        3. Dan 55 Silver badge

          Re: Just another Distro

          AOSP is updated by Google every Android release and Google says what goes in it. If Google for some reason doesn't want the bug fixed then it's not fixed in AOSP (e.g. IMAP IDLE or ad-hoc wifi support) and everyone has to do their own fixes in their own distros. Often these fixes never happen.

          Cyanogen has stopped working on CM11 Milestone 13 so they can start working on getting their Lollipop version out the door and when AOSP is updated mobile manufacturers have to customise it before it goes into their mobiles which takes 3-6 more months. This wait wouldn't happen if AOSP were really developed in the open.

          If Android were truely extensible then most of their work could be done by allowing drivers to be added with the minimum of fuss and letting phone customisations and operator customisations be installable as apps (if you uninstall them or they become incompatible with later versions of Android then they would drop back to stock Android).

          There is also the elephant in the room which is Play Services which is sucking more and more things out of AOSP and making them proprietry, letting the AOSP versions rot. It's got to the point where there needs to be an open source equivalent of PS.

          1. Danny 14 Silver badge

            Re: Just another Distro

            but google needs to be careful as it wont take much for a cydia alternative to make AOSPs drop PS like a hot brick. They'll be in trouble then. Unlike apple there are so many android versions that google will find it hard to enforce version control on their apps based on OS.

  2. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

    Fail like the telcos

    Big brother Oppo has gone the same way with their ColorOS. Much like big telcos with their custom ROMs, Oppo is angering customers with upgrades that lag by more than a year. AOSP is buggy, ugly, and no easy task to turn into a polished product. You'd think that independent phone makers would be better off donating money and technical support to public AOSP teams to improve custom drivers and themes.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I wish them luck

    The whole issue with CyanogenMod/India is distinctly iffy!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I wish them luck

      Maybe they don't like the idea of Cyanogen being funded by Microsoft?

      1. sabroni Silver badge
        Mushroom

        Re: Microsoft?

        I knew it! Fucking Micro$haft!!!!!

  4. Grease Monkey

    "Only carry the features important to our users"

    PR weasel words if ever I heard them. What this means is "we are unable to develop some of the apps that ship with most phones today so we're just going to leave them off and call them bloatware whether our customers think they're important or not".

    Or to put it another way. If customers think those features are important they'll have to buy their phones elsewhere.

    1. sabroni Silver badge
      Meh

      re: Or to put it another way.

      Here's another choice that you can make when shopping for a phone.

    2. Oninoshiko

      my phone must have shipped with 20 or so things on it, you know how many I use?

      4:

      Phone

      SMS/MMS (whatever they are calling the app this week)

      Email

      Browser

      Give me a phone that does those things only and those things WELL. Anything else I can (and am happy to) install from the app store. Heck, even those I'd be willing to pull in from the app store.

  5. Grease Monkey

    How long after the first phone is released will their be a cyanogenmod build available for it?

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    When you read articles like this you just think "sod it, I'll get an iPhone/Windows Phone/Blackberry".

    It's just a phone at the end of the day.

    1. Danny 14 Silver badge

      yup and that's the point. 10 years ago you looked at functionality and got the phone that did what you wanted it to do. Nowadays they pretty much all do what you want. for the first time (since winmo6.5 so it doesn't count) I'm actually looking at a windows phone purely based on cost; the functionality is the same (from my point of view).

  7. Michael Habel Silver badge

    Cyanogen, Omni et-al have a purpose. That of which being to keep older Devices outta the Landfill. Do you really think anyone in their Skull would flash a Custom ROM on to a brand new Device? One that was hopefully still getting official updates? 'Cause I don't think so!

    Custom Recoveries (i.e. CWM, or TWRP), plus full root yes! But a full blown Custom ROM, with broken Drivers for the Camera, WiFi or FM Radio... I think not. Not unless the Device is so old now Gingerbread Era... That these functions taking a smallish hit, is better then not being able to use the Device at all. But even now on these Custom ROMs the brick Wall is upon us now.

    1. ukgnome Silver badge

      You don't know much about the modding community then?

      Of course people will flash an alternative ROM on their new devices, just not everyone.

    2. Pete Smith 2

      I did.

      Admittedly it was an Orange San-Francisco (AKA ZTE Blade).

      I didn't like the Orange bloatware/GUI it came with, so within 12 hours of opening it, I'd rooted it, unlocked it, and stuck the latest Cyanogenmod on it.

      Since then, every phone I've owned has had Cyanogenmod put on it within a day of receiving it.

      Being a tightwad though, when I accidentally washed my SF, I bought a 2nd hand HTC Desire off a friend at work, then when another friend realised I only had a single core phone, gave me his old cast-off dual-core HTC Sensation XE that was gathering dust in a drawer.

      My daughter received her 1st mobile (Samsung Ace 3 - I know! I wanted to get a Moto E, but "Selfies are important"), and she immediately asked for Cyanogen mod on it, as she was used to using my old Desire. Once it's out of warranty, the excuse for an OS will be removed, and something sensible put on it!

      My next phone (assuming I don't get any more Pity Phones) will probably be a Moto, running vanilla Android, which is just how I like it.

      1. Danny 14 Silver badge

        I flashed my phone out of the door, the flash got rid of network bloat and sped it up enormously. If you need a warranty repair then make sure it REALLY needs a warranty repair (just play "operation" under the battery bay/usb socket with a pair of probes plugged into +5v)

    3. This post has been deleted by its author

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Exclusives legal monopolies suck

    CyanogenMod caused this forking f'up.

  9. Andy Nugent

    One Plus distraction

    Is this not just another distraction from One Plus to handle the fact that they still haven't brought their "2014 Flagship Killer" to market (i.e. I can't walk into a shop, go to Amazon or their website and actually buy one without spending time advertising them on social media)? Don't focus on the fact that we're all hype, focus on our new Android variant...

    1. Dazzz

      Re: One Plus distraction

      Go onto the website next tuesday and you can buy one, no invite required.

  10. jason 7

    Oh bliss!

    Just managed to get my tech curmudgeon girlfriend to accept that Android has moved on somewhat since her Galaxy Note1 got left behind and accept the One+ as a worthy replacement.

    Mighty have to start all over again...

    "Why can't I have..." "Why isn't..." etc. etc.

  11. chasil

    Why mod?

    You can find Cyanogenmod's added features here:

    http://wiki.cyanogenmod.org/w/Why_Mod%3F

    I personally use timed profiles, blacklists, and privacy guard, and I would be hesitant to touch an Android device lacking these features (unless this touch was unlocking and wiping).

    The "holo glass" these also spiffs up Android very nicely.

  12. Dylan Fahey
    Facepalm

    Don't buy any of their phones, why? ...

    ...when asked whether it would be open source software, Pei responded with a flat "no."

    I don't buy any ZTE phones either, they don't release their OPEN SOURCE CODE, which is a direct violation of the GPL.

  13. Anonymous C0ward

    Faster updates? Nightly not good enough?

  14. Trigonoceps occipitalis

    Backdoors 101

    ... when asked whether it would be open source software, Pei responded with a flat "no."

  15. tempemeaty
    Meh

    Billions

    With 7 Billion people on the planet you'd think the market would be big enough for more hand-held device OSes to choose from. Instead it's all just Android variants. I'm not sure I like this.

    I'm beginning to wonder if the human race is nothing but meat robots that can't create original things so much.

  16. Oh Homer Silver badge
    Windows

    It's like watching dogs fighting over scraps of free meat

    I'm still trying to understand how Cyanogen can enforce an "exclusive deal" by leeching somebody else's (i.e. Google's) Free Software in the first place, or how OnePlus can take that same Free Software and somehow make it proprietary.

    Surely that would be a copyright violation. If this is in fact legal, then clearly there's something very broken in Google's licenses, and Android is not really Free at all.

    I suppose this is the inevitable consequence of eschewing the GPL in favour of something supposedly "more free".

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