OnePlus has a large following of enthusiasts that believe in the upstart’s vision for smartphones, despite several setbacks. However, it has been increasingly clear that the corporation has been moving in a very different direction in recent months. Part of this can certainly be attributed to OnePlus’ “merger” with cousin OPPO, the consequences of which are now being felt negatively. OxygenOS 12 may be bringing in too much of OPPO’s ColorOS, especially how it locks the doors on several features that OnePlus users have enjoyed for a long time.
Google’s Magic Camera
Since 2014, Google has had its custom Android camera software, but it wasn’t widely used until it was included in the first Pixel phone in 2016. It was partially responsible for the success of Google’s phones in the photography arena, as it used software to compensate for the Pixel phones’ comparatively low-resolution 12MP cameras for years. Although the app is officially only available on Pixel phones, Android being Android, there are ways to get it on other devices. Of course, this is done unofficially.
For OnePlus users who have been enjoying these bootleg Google Camera versions for years, that magical experience may be coming to an end. Many developers are confirming that Google Camera mods can only use the phone’s primary camera sensor and nothing else, including the telephoto and ultra-wide cameras, according to Android Police. Worse, any other app that utilizes Google Camera, which may or may not has been selected as the default camera app, would be unable to access those additional sensors as well.
Takeover by OPPO
This change occurred only after upgrading from Android 11 to Android 12 via OxygenOS 12. That upgrade has already been withdrawn because of the numerous issues that afflicted OnePlus 9 owners. This news does not bode well for it, and unauthorized GCam developers are warning consumers to avoid OxygenOS 12 and OnePlus altogether.
Although the latter may appear extreme, it may represent the exact views of certain OnePlus supporters. The switch to OPPO‘s ColorOS as the base lies at the heart of the OxygenOS 12 release. ColorOS also disables GCam mods in this way, according to the complaint. Therefore OxygenOS is simply inheriting this behaviour.
If this is the case, OxygenOS will be more than just a shell on top of ColorOS. OnePlus has essentially stated that merging its software with that of OPPO will have little influence on the user experience, at least in terms of preferred features. Granted, using a modded Google app without trouble isn’t exactly a publicly promoted feature. Still, recent incidents have thrown doubt on OnePlus’ ability to maintain half of the agreement.