It looks like the groundbreaking partnership between OnePlus and Cyanogen, Inc. is coming to an end. The big news for me from that email I posted yesterday is that OnePlus is readying their own in-house ROM. It’s entirely possible that the current batch of phones—which they’re still taking orders for, by the way—will ship with the new firmware.
It’s not the first time I’ve heard about the OnePlus ROM; Android Authority posted about it two months ago—according to them it was being developed for the OPO’s successor. But according to this OnePlus contest it’s coming much sooner than that:
As you may have heard, we are developing our own custom ROM in-house—just one more option for those who refuse to compromise. We promise that it will be close to stock, bloat-free, and highly customizable; we wouldn’t ask you to settle for anything less. What you may not know, though, is that our first community build will be released soon. Much sooner than you likely expected.
So why the sudden rush? Because Cyanogen is apparently moving on.
They’ve inked a deal with Indian OEM Micromax who, in turn, have managed to get OnePlus effectively banned in that country, citing their exclusive rights to sell Cyanogen-powered devices. The first such product, the Yureka, went on sale today.
It’s not all doom and gloom for OnePlus fans, though. Cyanogen has publicly reiterated its commitment to OPO users, and clarified its position in regards to India:
As we had pledged to our users, OnePlus One global devices will receive our OTA firmware updates. If a user in India purchased a OnePlus One global device in channels outside of India, they will receive our OTA firmware updates. However, this excludes OnePlus One regional devices sold directly in India.
As for the new OnePlus ROM, I’ve a funny feeling that it’s going to be based on OPPO’s Color OS. That ROM, like CyanogenMod, also has an onboard permissions manager. I’m just not sure if it’s any good or not.
Remember too that the OPO ships with an unlockable bootloader, and OnePlus has also publicly reiterated its commitment to users:
Here at OnePlus, we care deeply about giving our fans the best possible user experience, and we believe that an emphasis on openness and customization is a big, big part of that. That’s why we officially support rooting and flashing custom ROMs on the OnePlus One without affecting your warranty. It’s also why we test and release builds of alternative ROMs for use on the OnePlus One on our forums.
It would be a shame if Cyanogen and OnePlus really are parting ways; I strongly believe that current CM builds for the OnePlus One deliver an experience better than stock Android itself. But with the big names in homebrew firmware actively developing OPO ROMs there will always be other options available. So long as that bootloader is unlockable I think we’re going to be okay…