Fours years of OxygenOS Beta Program: Past, present and future

  1. Manu J.
    OxygenOS Product Staff Member Jun 5, 2020

    Manu J. , Jun 5, 2020 :

    Hey everyone,

    It has been over 4 years since we first launched the beta program for OxygenOS, so we’d like to take a minute to look at what we’ve accomplished so far, together with our Community, and how we’re planning to make the beta software experience smoother for everyone moving forward. Thanks to the ever-increasing number of Community members who have decided to take part in our beta programs, the OxygenOS team has received an immense amount of feedback – including more than 200,000 bug reports – that has helped us refine and release countless improvements in hundreds of stable version updates across our entire lineup.

    When we first started our closed and open beta programs, we did so to collect feedback on early releases of software updates, iron out all the kinks and ensure that our stable releases provided a smooth experience to all OxygenOS users. Our beta program may once have been more popular among our most tech-savvy users, but it has now grown into something that includes people from all different backgrounds and with varying degrees of technological knowledge. We’ve also noticed that many of you use beta releases as your daily driver, for work, school or play, which is quite remarkable.

    With this in mind, we have decided to make some adjustments to the beta program schedule, in order to provide a more stable and reliable experience. These changes allow us to allocate more time to go through your valuable feedback, coordinate with the development team and address reported bugs. Ultimately, this will give all our users an even better OxygenOS experience.

    For those of you that don’t want to deal with installing a beta build of OxygenOS, you can still try upcoming features by beta testing our OnePlus apps. You can easily and safely join the beta program through each app’s Play Store page, and returning to the stock version is only one click away.

    Updated OxygenOS release cycle

    Closed Beta
    (2 updates per month)
    This is where all OxygenOS code begins. Sometimes, these builds are referred to as “alpha builds”. Here, our software team tests new (and sometimes experimental) code and features. The big goal here is to get initial feedback on new ideas. These builds lack the stability of polished software but offer early access. New code and features often come to Closed Beta builds weeks or months before going public. In order to receive Closed Beta builds, you have to apply to be a certified Closed Beta tester. This is quite an elite crew, though, as we usually only accept around 100 Closed Beta testers for each device at any given time.

    For those that have a OnePlus 8 series device, we have good news – the Closed Beta program for the OnePlus 8 and OnePlus 8 Pro is about to start. Keep an eye on the forums for more details!

    Open Beta
    (1 update per month)
    Once a new feature or change passes initial quality tests in Closed Beta, they’ll be added to Open Beta. Since these builds are available for anyone to try, we’re doubling down on our efforts to collect and implement feedback to ensure the software is much more stable and less likely to include major bugs when compared to Closed Beta builds. To make a long story short, Open Beta is the second, semi-public step for feedback and bug testing, ensuring that only the best code makes it to official release.

    Official Release (OTA)
    (Unchanged – 1 update every 1-2 months)
    This is the final step. Once code has undergone several rounds of internal and community feedback throughout the Closed and Open Beta programs, the best of the best is released on the official version of OxygenOS. These are the updates that you automatically receive via OTA if you don’t opt into any sort of beta program. In a nutshell, these are the builds that go out to all of our users across the globe. While these builds are stable and polished, the feedback doesn’t stop. We still continue to collect and analyze feature requests and bug reports, and we actually have some big things in the works to make the feedback process even better.

    As always, our goal is to provide the fastest and smoothest experience possible. The OxygenOS beta program has helped improve that experience over the past 4 years, and we sincerely thank all of you who have taken the time to test our beta software and provide valuable feedback. We hope these changes to the beta program will help make that experience even better in the future.

    Never Settle

  2. jimmy123322
    Gingerbread Jun 5, 2020

    jimmy123322 , Jun 5, 2020 :
    Well, that's not nice :(.

    From, my point of view: OP is not the same as before. Their smartphones become a real non-functional device. No radically-new features in 1 year, since release OP7Pro. And even theme engine is not working good. Better leave it like in stock Android.
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2020

  3. Tobikage
    Nougat Jun 5, 2020

    Tobikage , Jun 5, 2020 :

    It's 2020 and the majority of clueless open beta testers "testers" here on the forum still have to make threads asking "How do I install Beta" and then after some time" How do I go back to stable" without contribting for shit. crap.

  4. Starcommander
    OnePlus Accessory Tester Jun 5, 2020

    Starcommander , Jun 5, 2020 :
    Thanks Manu for update

  5. thedarkpresence_
    Gingerbread Jun 5, 2020

    thedarkpresence_ , Jun 5, 2020 :
    Thanks for officially posting this. This was bound to happen given how the quality of the betas has reduced drastically over time with introduction of several devices.

    Also, hope you will not start closed beta for 8 series without selling even a single 8 Pro in your biggest market - India.

  6. Dresa91
    User of the Year 2016; Most Active User 2020 Jun 5, 2020

    Dresa91 , Jun 5, 2020 :
    Hey @Manu J. :)
    thank you for the update:)
    You and the team are doing a great job:)
    All the best for you all:)

    And I hope, that we can come back to serious and real beta feedback - and not the feedback, which we can find these days in the forum.


  7. faisal337
    Froyo Jun 5, 2020

    faisal337 , Jun 5, 2020 :
    Thank you for the Update

    Oneplus Apps sure do get good number of updates on Playstore

  8. Its.Leandroo
    The Lab - OnePlus 6 Reviewer Jun 5, 2020

    Its.Leandroo , Jun 5, 2020 :
    Sad to see even less updates than we already had. I feel like there should be more focus on syncing features across devices instead of pushing out less updates. Even the version numbers are quite a mess, having different ones for each market while it's the same software.

    To be honest here, I'm missing the lack of focus on the things that matter, like pushing out security updates in time (which are more important than having yet another piece of bloatware (that being Epic Games) on our phones.

  9. BeingIncog
    Nougat Jun 5, 2020

    BeingIncog , Jun 5, 2020 :


  10. #10
  11. Bast07
    Jelly Bean Jun 5, 2020

    M1596690316230 likes this.
  12. Dresa91
    User of the Year 2016; Most Active User 2020 Jun 5, 2020

    Dresa91 , Jun 5, 2020 :
    btw, one question @Manu J.: You said:
    so, is it possible to get the latest Security Patch Update every month with Open Beta Program?

  13. NiyasAhamed
    Honeycomb Jun 5, 2020

    C1591702701424 and Mike_Jiang like this.

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  15. Dresa91
    User of the Year 2016; Most Active User 2020 Jun 5, 2020

    Dresa91 , Jun 5, 2020 :

    JviFdz, hennes, Savio and 9 others like this.
  16. Some_Random_Username
    Community Bug Hunter Jun 5, 2020

    Some_Random_Username , Jun 5, 2020 :
    Or you can just say it now includes too many people without actual knowledge on how to go back to stable release or who don't even know how to reports bugs and submit feature requests for it to be worth, you know.

    Not to mention that doing regional builds even for OB added more and more pressure on dev team at the point they couldn't keep up and that it has clearly been noticed since 7T-series OB program introduction.


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  18. Dresa91
    User of the Year 2016; Most Active User 2020 Jun 5, 2020

    Dresa91 , Jun 5, 2020 :
    Future plans = EOL

  19. AbhilashSaikia
    The Lab - OnePlus 8 Pro Reviewer Jun 5, 2020

    AbhilashSaikia , Jun 5, 2020 :
    Thanks for the update @Manu J. !

    Agreed. Bloat is bloat and bloat should be whipped!

  20. DogeAlpha
    Honeycomb Jun 5, 2020

    DogeAlpha , Jun 5, 2020 :
    Stable channel unaffected is good for most of the users
    Starting to feel like open beta is not useful anymore. You waste more time developing it than the time you're saving.

    I'd rather have more closed betas (at least 3/month) with dedicated persons that are in there to provide real feedback, unlike open beta users that just like boasting with newer features without providing any actual feedback (constant complains don't count) and eventually get more closed beta testers. If they are not serious just kick'em out of the program

    Considering this, open beta should get closed (reasons stated above)
    Maybe this way stable channel could get a guaranteed update per month. People really like praising OP for fast updates. Honestly, they deliver the newest android versions very fast (still not free of bugs) but that's about it. Getting 1 security patch every 2 months it's not that fast. Sammy does a better job with security patches, delivering features only once per android version but I feel like they tweak more in one massive update than oneplus does in a full year of updates. I'm really not suggesting following the same update pattern, but with all these devices we're better of with less update channels