OnePlus One Gets Android 'Lollipop'-Based Cyanogen OS 12

Today, Cyanogen announced its new mobile operating, Cyanogen OS 12. The new OS is based on Google's Android 5.0 "Lollipop," which includes many new features as well as a major user interface update based on Google's new "Material Design" philosophy.

Cyanogen 12 should also start rolling out to OnePlus devices globally soon. According to OnePlus, these are the new features that users can expect:

Improved camera with continuous shot and improved low-light performanceEnhanced look and feelEnhanced theme chooserAmbient display with lift-to-wakeNew lock screenCleaner settings menuMulti-user supportEnhanced A/V support (more codecs, high-res playback, high-res output over USB, low latency capture)Power and performance optimizationsSmart lockImproved BT and Wi-Fi compatibilityEnhanced notification and privacy controls

Cyanogen would also like to emphasize its new App Themer. Although stock Android still doesn't have proper theming capabilities, the Cyanogen OS has been able to change the whole theme (including colors, icons and font) of the OS since version 11. The new App Themer just goes one step further by allowing users to change the theme of particular apps, as well.

Another major feature that seems to make Cyanogen quite proud is the new email app powered by Boxer. This premium version of Boxer will be free to all Cyanogen users. The new app brings Exchange support, multiple account integration, and canned responses for quick replies. It also allows the user to set the preferred LED color for email notifications and choose what happens when you slide left or right on a message.

The relationship between OnePlus and Cyanogen has turned sour over the past year. Cyanogen gave Micromax exclusivity over the OS in India, which means OnePlus can't sell its devices there with Cyanogen on board anymore. However, OnePlus and Cyanogen are still in a contract, so Cyanogen will continue to update its OS for OnePlus devices outside of India for the time being. OnePlus initially promised two years of updates for its OnePlus One smartphone, so that could mean another year of updates. That should include the Android 5.1-based Cyanogen OS 12.1 and the Android M-based Cyanogen OS 13.

In the meantime, OnePlus has been working on its own OS that it can use both in India, as well as globally, in its future devices. The new OS is called OxygenOS and OnePlus One owners can already install it on their devices. The catch is they have to manually install it rather than through an OTA update. The next OnePlus One smartphone is likely to come with it by default. The OxygenOS is based on Android Lollipop, just like Cyanogen OS 12.

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Lucian Armasu
Lucian Armasu is a Contributing Writer for Tom's Hardware US. He covers software news and the issues surrounding privacy and security.
  • nomnom9608
    I was really hoping it would fix the touch screen not responding or behaving randomly, but alas I guess it is a hardware fault, time to look for a new phone :-/
  • lusofox
    I solved the random behaviour of the screen by disabling the waking by tapping.
  • amk-aka-Phantom
    As a resident of India: CM screwed up big time by associating itself with such a crappy brand as Micromax. Many of my friends here bought their phones and are now cursing under their breath: they bought into Micromax's garbage marketing (8 cores! 8 MP camera! HD screen!!1) without understanding that they're getting junk Mediatek cores, pathetic camera sensors, TFT displays with useless viewing angles... and all that manufactured with abysmal quality. Micromax isn't even an Indian brand, AFAIK it's just copies of some Chinese no-name stuff.

    I told all of them to respect their hard-earned money, spend a bit more and get Motorola's Moto G/G2 or Moto E (not E2... severe downgrade compared to E1 in terms of display quality), but no... in the end, they all had to anyway. I fear CM is slowly becoming what it wanted to kill, trying to aggressively grab publicity and market share instead of doing what it was doing really well - providing a power user focused Android ROM with stock UI and additional value-adding features. Micromax is a brand that relies upon an average Indian customer's ignorance about phone hardware. Everywhere I go on Western sites, I see people immediately pointing out that they won't but a Mediatek phone and they're right, MT cores are sub-par compared to Qualcomm's and are a warning sign for buyers looking for good value for money. India, though? People just get hyper at the mention of MORE CORES. Hopefully that stupid Micromax brand just dies off when people get tired of replacing their phones that last a few months or a year at best. Other "Indian" brands (Lava, Xolo) aren't better, by the way. It's a pity that smartphone manufacturing got so simple that anybody can try it - sure, we get amazing companies like Xiaomi, Oppo and OnePlus out of it, but we get far more customer-abusing atrocities like Micromax which pretend to be something. Famous brands like Samsung, HTC and Sony need to provide more affordable smartphones similar to Moto E to squish that pathetic and dangerous "competition" which ultimately wastes people's money.