I attempted OxygenOS 13, and that is all I feared it could be

OxygenOS 13 is right here. Properly, type of. OnePlus has released the open beta of OxygenOS 13 for the OnePlus 10 Pro on August 9, giving customers an opportunity to get a primary have a look at what the way forward for OnePlus software program appears like.

Android betas are all the time an thrilling factor, however there is a significantly excessive quantity of tension round OnePlus’ take on Android 13. Since OnePlus’ deeper integration with Oppo, the software program of OnePlus telephones has discovered itself in a worrying state of affairs. For years, OxygenOS has been praised for its velocity, smoothness, and lack of undesirable litter. However when the OnePlus 10 Pro bundled with OxygenOS 12, it was clear that OnePlus was able to take a special method.

Android 13 logo on a OnePlus 10 Pro, running OxygenOS 13.
Joe Maring/Digital Tendencies

In February 2022, OnePlus promised that OxygenOS 13 would “keep its distinctive visible design” and return to a typical consumer interface. And at its OnePlus 10T launch occasion earlier this month, OnePlus spent lots of time assuring followers that it was listening to suggestions, taking notes, and able to do it proper.

Now that I’ve had the possibility to make use of OxygenOS 13 for myself, it is apparent that none of that was true.

Gradual, clunky, clunky interface

With OxygenOS 11 and earlier, OnePlus’ software program regarded like a modified model of inventory Android. OxygenOS 12 moves away from the minimalist approach, favoring heavier and bulkier design parts as a substitute. Sadly, OxygenOS 13 solely strikes in that path.

OnePlus says it up to date OxygenOS 13 with its “Quantum Animation Engine 4.0” and far of the UI was impressed by water/nature. Particularly, OxygenOS 13 is – for all intents and functions – the ColorOS software program used on Oppo phones. That is seen with the revamped Fast Settings panel, app drawer, Clock and Calculator apps, and extra. In every single place you look, OxygenOS 13 is a shell of itself.

However it’s not only a matter of aesthetic preferences. Though I personally favor the straightforward design of OxygenOS 11 and earlier, OxygenOS 13 additionally feels worse. Particularly, it feels horribly gradual.

While you come house from utilizing an app, an animation reveals the app floating to your private home display, which is what all Android telephones do. However the animation on OxygenOS 13 is stretched to be noticeably longer than on OxygenOS 12 and 11. This does not seem to be a giant deal, however it provides additional ready time for no obvious motive. The in-screen fingerprint sensor animation additionally takes longer to load, and once you unlock the cellphone, a slower animation performs to deliver you to your private home display. It is lots of little issues that make OxygenOS 13 really feel heavy. This was already an issue in OxygenOS 12, and OxygenOS 13 solely makes it worse.

And, in fact, there are the extra evident UI adjustments. The Notification/Fast Settings shade now takes up all the display when opened. Moreover, the Fast Settings format has obtained a major overhaul. I just like the rotating solar that strikes as you regulate the brightness, and with the ability to customise the 2 massive/rectangle toggles is a pleasant contact. However once more, OnePlus clearly favors maximalism over minimalism. Now there’s a media participant widget to show any audio file that’s enjoying in your cellphone. It is helpful once you’re listening to one thing, however even once you’re not, it is nonetheless there – simply taking over precious area for no good motive.

OxygenOS 13 additionally introduces new interfaces for the Clock, Recordsdata, Calculator, and Notes apps. They don’t seem to be completely overhauled from their OxygenOS 12 releases, however all of them look a bit bulkier.

However, extra importantly, OxygenOS 13 removes the notorious “1+” Easter egg from the Calculator app. If you’d like a straightforward strategy to sum up the path OnePlus is taking with OxygenOS 13, right here we go.

Characteristic overload at its best

And that is what OxygenOS 13 appears like. The replace additionally provides a collection of latest options to OnePlus telephones. Some individuals could discover them helpful, however in my restricted testing I am struggling to get something out of them.

The page
Joe Maring/Digital Tendencies

One among these options is Sensible Sidebar. Just like what’s obtainable on Samsung and Motorola telephones, the Sensible Sidebar enables you to swipe from the sting of your display to entry customizable instruments and app shortcuts. You may add screenshot instrument, display recording button, display translation and any app you need. There’s seemingly no restrict to what number of you’ll be able to add to the sensible sidebar. Sounds good, proper?

Sadly, there is a bizarre quirk to Sensible Sidebar. In case you open an app from it, the app all the time opens as a “versatile window” – one other new characteristic in OxygenOS 13. Versatile home windows enables you to open apps in a small window on every part you do in your cellphone. You can browse Reddit with a small Twitter window on it, watch a full display YouTube video with an Instagram window on high, and many others.

That is nice, however I have not discovered versatile home windows any extra helpful than Android’s normal split-screen characteristic. Plus, being pressured to open apps as a versatile window from the sensible sidebar is a bewildering selection. You may flip a versatile window right into a full-screen app, however solely after urgent one other button, eradicating the comfort the sensible sidebar would in any other case have had.

One other novelty is one thing referred to as Fast Return. In OxygenOS 13, OnePlus describes Fast Return as a characteristic that permits you to “faucet a tile to return to the complete display or floating window app.” The software program offers a number of examples, similar to quitting a rideshare app after calling a automobile, or once you die in a multiplayer sport and await a respawn. In these situations, Fast Return enables you to carry out different actions together with your cellphone, hold tabs on what is going on on, and return to this app when that you must. The issue? My OnePlus 10 Professional says none of my apps are appropriate with Fast Return.

As you discover OxygenOS 13, you will additionally discover a new youngsters’ space, easy mode, and a revamped work-life steadiness system. On one hand, including new options to your gadget is nice. However many of those options are issues that I’d in all probability utterly ignore in day-to-day use. They don’t seem to be unhealthy or overwhelming, however it additionally seems like OnePlus is loading OxygenOS 13 with options only for enjoyable.

Would not repair any of the OxygenOS 12 points

Greater than the rest, what annoys me probably the most about OxygenOS 13 is its failure to handle the complaints individuals raised with OxygenOS 12 – which had been many!

You continue to cannot change particular person app icons with the default launcher, contact responsiveness with the app drawer and lock display notifications stay inconsistent, and you are still always bombarded with prompts to comply with the Phrases of Service with just about each characteristic/settings you open. for the primary time. If there’s one thing about OxygenOS 12 that annoys you, chances are high it is nonetheless there in OxygenOS 13.

A fast observe about Omoji

Lastly, I’ve to say one thing about Omoji. And, sure, that is precisely what it feels like. Omoji are cartoon characters you’ll be able to create in OxygenOS 13 which can be animated utilizing face monitoring from the entrance digicam. You may change the pores and skin, head, hair, eyes, nostril, headgear, glasses, and many others. of your Omoji.

Editing an Omoji in OxygenOS 13.
Joe Maring/Digital Tendencies

Not solely is the idea of Omoji like Memoji on iOShowever the interface to create one appears like similar to Apple’s implementation. Critically. Aspect by aspect, it is nearly unimaginable to inform the 2 aside.

I have to give OnePlus/Oppo credit score the place credit score is due – that is probably the most egregious Memoji rip-off I’ve ever seen pic.twitter.com/E4YQjRSsd1

—Joe Maring (@JoeMaring1) August 10, 2022

Making issues extra comical is the implementation of Omoji. Face monitoring with the ten Professional’s entrance digicam is ridiculously unhealthy, you’ll be able to solely use Omoji in your always-on show, and the choice within the Settings app to alter your Omoji randomly seems and disappears for no rhyme or motive. It is all fairly wonderful.

OxygenOS, as you knew, is now not

To be honest to OnePlus, these are all impressions after a number of days with the OxygenOS 13 beta. OnePlus has compiled a list of known bugs on its neighborhood discussion board, and extra will possible be found – and stuck – within the coming weeks.

OxygenOS 12 and ColorOS 12 home screens.
OxygenOS 12 (proper) and ColorOS 12 (left) Andy Boxall/Digital Tendencies

However my greatest points with OxygenOS 13 don’t have anything to do with bugs. My points lie with the core concept of ​​OxygenOS 13. From the varied UI adjustments, gradual animations, and pile of dodgy options, there’s nothing right here to seize what introduced me down. in love with OxygenOS within the first place.

It isn’t enjoyable to write down 1400 (largely detrimental) phrases about OnePlus’ huge software program replace of the 12 months being an enormous disappointment. However, sadly, that is the place we’re. We should always have seen it coming since OnePlus and Oppo introduced their merger. I am not shocked what occurred to OxygenOS 13, however as a die-hard OnePlus fan for the reason that days of One plus one, it is also like shedding an previous buddy. And I hate that.

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