OnePlus users can now finally get their hands on the new Android Marshmallow update through OnePlus's custom ROM, OxygenOS 3.0.
While still under works for the OnePlus 3, the company had earlier announced that it planned to release the Marshmallow-based OxygenOS 3.0 for OnePlus 2 by the end of the first quarter of 2016. A later update reported that the company was finally running soak tests on its latest ROM update for its flagship device, the OnePlus 2. With just a few days left to spare before the end of the first quarter, OnePlus holds its end of the deal and releases the OxygenOS 3.0 publicly.
It is important to note that this is not the final version but a "daily-driver-material community release," as coined by the developers. In simpler terms, a public beta version.
OnePlus calls for users with an aptitude in testing out new technology to explore various areas of the release to catch overlooked bugs. Essentially, soak testing is now passed onto the company's larger user base worldwide. Feedbacks are wanted in: "network testing," if the update can support a specific carrier in a user's region; noticeable camera improvements both "UI and picture quality;" and lastly "performance and battery life," or how long the phone runs smoothly before lagging or dying out.
Here's the list of updates included in the release:
• Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow upgrade
• New OnePlus Camera UI
• UI has been cleaned up: swiping up/down now switches between photo/video, whereas HD/HDR and flash settings live in the top right corner
• You can now change the aspect ratio and toggle grid view without going all the way to the settings
• New wallpaper picker
• Easily preview and set both home screen and lock screen wallpaper in one place
• Shelf UX has been improved
• No more edit mode, long press boards to rearrange or remove
• General system performance improvements
• Benchmarked 47% faster than OxygenOS 2.2.1 on key test scenarios
• Fingerprint performance improvement
• Tested 45% faster than OxygenOS 2.2.1 on average
• Changes in settings
• Old app permissions are gone, say Hi to new (native Android) app permissions
• Alert Slider has its own entry point with more customization options
• Improved settings menu readability by changing the order a bit
• March security patches
OnePlus also warns about potential problems that may and will be encountered: saved fingerprints will be wiped after flashing the update; presets for Maxxaudio will be deleted; returning to previous versions of OxygenOS will not be possible until data is wiped; Wi-Fi issues with connection and speed; upgrading to M compatible version may be required for some apps; lastly, language optimization is still under works for certain countries.
Users who take on the challenge need not worry about final version releases as the public beta version is eligible for Over The Air (OTA) updates. OnePlus adds that this update only supports "dirty flashing," which is flashing without factory resetting or wiping the data, using Oxygen recovery from OxygenOS 2.2.0 or higher. When dirty flashing, OnePlus also says the board containing frequently used apps may shrink. Removing and adding the board again will solve the problem. Users who use older or other ROMs need a factory reset before flashing. OnePlus does not guarantee update functionality for such users.
Their download page lists the steps required to flash OxygenOS 3.0 on OnePlus 2:
Step 1: Download OnePlus 2's OxygenOS 3.0 for your device.
Step 2: Plug your phone into the computer and copy the downloaded .zip file to your phone's storage. If you're using a Mac, you can install Android File Transfer for this operation.
Step 3: After the .zip file is copied to the phone, reboot the phone into recovery mode. To do this, shut down your device and turn it back on while holding the power and volume down buttons simultaneously.
Step 4: Choose "Install from SD," find your .zip file and click on "Install" to confirm. Your phone should now update to the selected build and reboot automatically to take you into OxygenOS.