Skip to main content

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.

Follow us @tomshardware, on Facebook and on Google+.

Lucian Armasu
Lucian Armasu is a Contributing Writer for Tom's Hardware US. He covers software news and the issues surrounding privacy and security.