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OnePlus is ditching stock Android and fans aren’t happy

OnePlus has explained its plans to move further from the stock Android experience when it launches the next version of its Oxygen OS UI.

The firm has traditionally earned plaudits from Android fans because it hasn’t strayed too far from the simplistic stock Android experience, with just a few cosmetic changes and additional features.

However, that will change with the new version of OxygenOS that’ll arrive alongside the Android 11 update. It’s already been met with trepidation by those who’ve caught a preview of OxygenOS 11 with the DP3. Some have accused OnePlus of skewing too far towards Samsung’s One UI, but now OnePlus is making its reasons clear.

In a post on its official forums, the company called stock Android a “good starting point,” but said it can “make the experience even better.” The company says its changes are designed to assist one-handed use in the context of ever-growing smartphone displays.

Related: OnePlus Nord review

The company writes: “As screens increase in size, so does the unused white space. We wanted to make the most of that space while keeping the interface easy to use. We conducted A/B testing with our users to determine the best size of the headline, and found that 65% prefer slightly smaller headlines. Also, 80% of users tested preferred titles with subtitles rather than without. The result is a new headline-body hierarchy that streamlines information delivery in OxygenOS 11.”

The popular Android manufacturer says since people generally hold their phones at the bottom of the display, it has updated the layout to move touch controls closer to the thumbs. The firm is also adding a Quick Share button within the camera app that enables users to tap a thumbnail of the last pic taken.

Fans aren’t happy about that change, with one commenting: “You explain way too much above. It was easy if you just agreed that you took inspiration from OneUI.” Another poster added: “I won’t update. I’m happy with the near stock Android experience of Oxygen OS 10.”

This comes after the company faced criticism for an accord with Facebook that meant the social network’s background tech couldn’t be deleted. The changes will come into effect when OnePlus updates its more recent phones to Android 11 in the next few months.

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