Oxygen Updater in 2022

Our yearly tradition continues: a look at the project's growth so far and predictions about the future
Adhiraj S. Chauhan

This article was written on 31st December, 2021. All analytical data like install counts, active users, etc. are calculated using Google Play's statistics for this app. This article will not be updated with newer counts, as it's meant to reflect the state of the app on 31st December, 2021.

Hey everyone,

It's 2022! For the sake of complete transparency, we've been writing such articles since 2018, and wanted to share an overview of the past year and highlight how Oxygen Updater will be at your service in 2022. If you'd like to view last year's new year article, click here.

Looking back at 2021

2020 saw a major design overhaul, which was met with a lot of praise. In 2021, majority of the work was prioritized towards our internal proprietary software (~30 software releases across the project's internals). However, the app still received a lot of love, with a total of 7 updates which included:

  • Important features: support for Nord 2 & newer devices, in-app language switcher (helpful for our translators), etc.
  • Bug fixes: rare crashes, notifications not being delivered correctly, article loading issues, etc.
  • Improved UX for ads: made the banner ad smaller, and made interstitial frequency-capping more robust

Also, new translations were added: SlovakHebrewRomanian, and Portuguese. Countless others were updated, and the next update will have improved Chinese and Japanese translations!

For 2022, the first order of business is to fix the annoying "not supported" warnings that's shown to 9-series users on OxygenOS 12. This is an erroneous warning, mostly because the app can't make sense of the inconsistencies introduced in the new ColorOS-based versions. If you're one of these users, don't worry  the app supports your device, and it is still running OxygenOS. You can ignore those warnings for now, and enable "advanced mode" in the app's settings.

Here are some growth comparison metrics for 2021:

January 2021 — January 2022: 346,713 active users to 386,119. That means in 1 year, we grew our userbase by 39,406. That's not as impressive as last year's 77,407 increase, but we peaked at ~415K active users in March, April, September, and October 2021. We crossed our 1M downloads milestone back in October 2020, and right now we're at 1.5M+ downloads. Who knows, if we're lucky we might cross the next milestone by the end of this year (5M) — especially if you help us by suggesting this app to people you know :D.

This wouldn't have been possible without you, our trusted users. Thank you so much for believing in Oxygen Updater, and having unwavering confidence in the new team. In the past, we've talked about organizing giveaways for you, but logistics is a nightmare to plan around. Stay tuned for that!

Here's a screenshot of the current total installs, you can clearly see the immense growth after 02/2021:

Based on past metrics, we usually see a spike around March/April and October/November, likely due to the launch of new OnePlus devices and new Android version releases. The app is used a lot, almost every moment someone is opening or refreshing the app.

OxygenOS devices & updates

Our team added numerous OS updates to the app so that everyone could update ASAP. We've been helping our users navigate their way through OnePlus' absolute mess of OTA rollouts, most notably the 9-series bugged OOS12 builds (TLDR: OnePlus rolled out a stable build with seemingly no testing, which led to users experiencing no network coverage amongst other bugs). We worked round the clock to offer support to disgruntled users, to help them solve issues, including rolling back to older OxygenOS versions (even though this is supposed to be OnePlus' job & responsibility).

Every year we hope OnePlus doesn't make such mistakes again (especially after the merger with Oppo), but every year there's something new. This year, they moved newer devices to Google OTA instead of their own. The 9-series devices were also moved to GOTA on OOS12. While their in-house system had a lot of issues, Google's is far worse for a specific user cohort: the ones with a rooted device, or an unlocked bootloader. Google OTA (at least, the way it's configured by OnePlus) doesn't return full ZIPs for a lot of devices, which means these users can't update their phones unless they unroot first.

Contributor statistics

Since 2018, the app has relied on our contributors to submit filenames to our team, as well as the Discord users who've taken time out of their lives to add update data manually, so that all our users can benefit. During the last part of 2018, when Arjan was still maintaining this project, we had some tougher moments, as the app became unable to automatically import updates due to a change on OnePlus' side. For a short while, the future of the app seemed to be uncertain, but with the help of the community everything was back to normal. And in 2021, we've improved things a lot more in our backend, which is why this project is still the only one that gets OTA links before anyone else (we then share them with others, e.g. XDA).

Here's the number of users who've opted in to send update file names to our admins (1,632,229 total):

Device Users who opted in
OnePlus 6T (Global) 168824
OnePlus 7 Pro 156096
OnePlus 6 151124
OnePlus Nord (India) 131132
OnePlus 7 107197
OnePlus 2 104692
OnePlus 7T (India) 85957
OnePlus 5T 74652
OnePlus 7T 54327
OnePlus 5 53815
OnePlus 8 Pro 40150
OnePlus 7 Pro (EU) 32734
OnePlus 8 Pro (EU) 30507
OnePlus 3T 29680
OnePlus 8 29421
OnePlus 8T (India) 28326
OnePlus 8 (India) 26755
OnePlus 8 Pro (India) 24858
OnePlus 8T 22448
OnePlus 3 21667
OnePlus 7T Pro 19000
OnePlus 9 Pro (India) 17846
OnePlus 8T (EU) 17864
OnePlus Nord (EU) 17661
OnePlus 9R (India) 16112
OnePlus 9 Pro (EU) 15616
OnePlus 7T (EU) 15625
OnePlus 7T Pro (EU) 14683
OnePlus 7T Pro (India) 13755
OnePlus Nord 13673
OnePlus 8 (EU) 11982
OnePlus 9 Pro 11866
OnePlus 7 Pro 5G (EU) 8027
OnePlus 9 (India) 8091
OnePlus 7 (EU) 7656
OnePlus Nord 2 (India) 6909
OnePlus Nord N10 6519
OnePlus 9 5764
OnePlus X 5701
OnePlus Nord CE (India) 3614
OnePlus 9 (EU) 3584
OnePlus One 2762
OnePlus Nord 2 (EU) 2704
OnePlus Nord N100 2704
OnePlus 8 (Visible USA) 1764
OnePlus Nord N100 (EU) 1739
OnePlus Nord N10 (EU) 1632
OnePlus Nord CE 859
OnePlus Nord N200 746
OnePlus Nord CE (EU) 409

Looking forward to 2022

After our first major redesign release, we've been focused on vastly improving our internal tools as well as give our website a much-needed design update — the current website has been mostly unchanged since inception, which is around 2017/2018, and it really shows. We've already put up the new website on our test-server, but it's far from complete; we're still iterating. It includes a space for our articles on the web as well, because right now we're only reaching mobile users. This has been requested by our media partners since 2020, since they often link to our articles as sources.

In 2020 we published 86, which was a huge ramp-up from 2019's measly 34 articles. 2021 saw a total of 102 high-quality articles, and we're hoping to publish a lot more useful & informational articles in 2022. After all, sometimes we're the first to report on quite a few things, e.g. OnePlus Watch (Harry Potter edition), 9-series colorways, new device wallpapers (9-series, Nord CE, Nord 2, 9RT), Spotify setup integration, Nord 2 Pac-Man edition, and so many more. This year we may also open up positions for freelance journalists, so stay tuned for that!

The focus will be on continued growth and active development, as well as planning exciting things for the community. We'll announce these exciting things on our Discord server, and we'll also release a news post so that users who aren't on Discord don't miss out.

Some other tidbits:

  • The Oxygen Updater server, domain name & infrastructure is paid by revenue we receive from Play Store IAPs (thank you to all our users who purchased the ad-free version!), as well as ad revenue. While we make use of the funds we've received so far, if you feel like donating to us, you can use this Patreon link.
  • Cyanogen Update Tracker, the predecessor of this app which did the same for Cyanogen OS devices, was supposed to be shut down in July 2019, but we postponed it to August 2020, and then September 2021. We'll keep it running as long as possible (it costs €30/year), giving our users enough time to buy a new device. We'll probably shut it down when usage declines — it has 500K downloads, but active users are somewhere between 1600 and 3000.
    • A shutdown of Cyanogen Update Tracker does not affect Oxygen Updater at all.
    • If you (or anyone you know) still use a Cyanogen OS device on an old OS version, tell them to use Cyanogen Update Tracker to update it NOW.
    • Cyanogen devices include the OnePlus One, most Wileyfox'es, some YU's and some other older phones. See https://cyanogenupdatetracker.com for a complete list of supported devices.

Wrapping it up

We hope you've enjoyed using Oxygen Updater so far. We wish you a Happy New Year! Cheers to a bright future in 2022 & beyond, and stay safe!