Half a month after OnePlus announced that it's becoming an Oppo sub-brand, it has revealed that it's also merging its OxygenOS with its new parent company's ColorOS. The two brands have come to the decision to "best leverage [their] shared resources" and to standardize the software experience across their portfolio. But what does OnePlus mean exactly when it said that they're "working on integrating the codebase of OxygenOS and ColorOS?" It said you may not even notice a difference, because the changes are happening behind the scenes.
OxygenOS will still be the operating system for OnePlus devices released globally. As 9to5Google notes, OnePlus phones released in China already run ColorOS, and that will likely remain the case — it's just that the operating systems will now shade a codebase. All new devices the sub-brand will release will run the new OxygenOS, while current devices that are still receiving updates will get the new platform via an over-the-air update.
Speaking of updates, OnePlus is promising better and longer Android update support, which now rivals Samsung's, with the change. The OnePlus 8 series and the brand's newer flagships will receive three major Android updates and four years of security updates going forward. Meanwhile, the first Nord and any newer Nord and Nord CE devices will receive two major Android and three years of security updates. Finally, the affordable Nord N series phones starting from the N10 and the N100 will get one major Android update and three years of security updates. Unfortunately, you can continue expecting two major Android and three years of security updates if you have a flagship older than the OnePlus 8.
When the merge was announced, the companies said OnePlus will remain independently operated. Since the move was meant to pool their resources and to better streamline their operations, though, linking their operating systems more closely doesn't come as surprise.