Oxygen Updater in 2024

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 4th January, 2024 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 this date.

Hey everyone,

First of all, a very happy new year to you all! 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 2024. If you'd like to view last year's new year article, click here.

Looking back at 2023

2020 saw a major design overhaul, which was met with a lot of praise, and was covered by Android Police as well. 2021 saw majority of the work being prioritized towards our internal proprietary software: ~30 software releases across the project's internals, which we ramped up to ~60 in 2022, and it stays exactly the same in 2023. While 2022's highlight was our brand-new website, 2023's is easily the v6 release of our app.

We fully rewrote the entire app into Jetpack Compose, which brought many new features like:

  • Material 3/You design (including the app icon)
  • Revamped install guides: far simpler to navigate and much easier to understand
  • Support for large screens & orientations
    Previously, the app could only be used in portrait mode. Now, it has hand-built UIs for tablets, foldables, etc.
  • Greatly reduced download & install size: ~18% and ~45% respectively, when compared to v5.11.3
  • Integration with Android 13+ per-app language selection UI

There's many, many more things that v6 brought. We highly recommend reading our article about it, where we compared it to v5.11.3 with great detail. It's easily the longest, most information-dense article we've ever written. But don't worry, there's screenshots as well!

Apart from v6-specific stuff, the app was also updated with other important features:

  • Support for OnePlus Pad (first tablet) & Open (first foldable)
  • Support for GDPR ad consent form (shown only to EEA/UK users who haven't purchased the ad-free unlock)
    As a reminder, our app is ad-supported because we're just a few people involved in this whole project, and any amount of monetary gains go right back into Oxygen Updater & its team. It helps us pay for server and infrastructure costs, and also motivates us to continue taking out time from our lives to work on this. We hate ads as much as most of you do, but currently there is no other way to support this project long-term. Our Patreon subscribers are a huge help nonetheless.
  • Automatic capture & submit of OTA URLs to our team
    This is an opt-in feature that works only on rooted devices, labeled as "Become a contributor". It enables us to add updates much more quickly.
  • Support for the new OxygenOS version format (e.g. KB2001_13.1.0.513(EX01) instead of KB2001_11_F.66)

Overall, there were 10 app updates as marked on GitHub. This number would be 16 if you also include v6's alpha releases on Patreon, and Play Store betas.

Here are some growth comparison metrics for 2023:

We peaked at ~405K active users in January 2023 (same as 2022, but in March/April/October instead), and after some ups and downs in between, our lowest was ~325K in December (lower than 2022's ~350K in July). Nobody likes numbers going down, and neither do we. We're not sure why it's trending downwards, but if you have any suggestions/feedback on how we can improve our app and what it offers, please let us know via email. After all, we're doing this for you.

OxygenOS devices & updates

As always, our team added numerous OS updates to the app so that everyone could update their devices ASAP. This year, we also had help from the community (rooted users who opted into the "Become a contributor" feature, among some others). In last year's article, we said:

We've been helping our users navigate their way through OnePlus' absolute mess of OTA rollouts […] 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.

Luckily, this time OnePlus didn't make too many mistakes, even though they still messed up a few things with the OxygenOS 14 rollout: some devices ended up bootlooping for a bit, e.g. OnePlus 11, although it automatically "fixed" itself — without updating the device to OxygenOS 14.

The merger with Oppo was mostly finished back in 2021, but we still see some odd issues here and there. There's still inconsistencies in their releases, and different regional builds are still not released around the same time. In some cases, NA, EU, or GLO get updates several weeks (sometimes months!) after India does.

Looking forward to 2024

In 2022's article we announced that we were working on rewriting the app into Jetpack Compose, and we delivered on that promise in 2023, while still maintaining the high standards of software quality we've set for ourselves. This year, we don't have immediate ideas apart from minor improvements here and there. So for the first time since 2019, we're leaving 2024 open to you. Tell us what you want, and we'll do our best.

Additionally, we will continue our the precedent set by 2021 and focus our energy on improving the articles we publish, and help our users out by ensuring they always have access to the latest information no matter what. In 2020 we published 86, which was a huge ramp-up from 2019's measly 34 articles, which was eclipsed by 2021's 102 high-quality articles.

2023 saw 69 articles being published, which is certainly fewer than 2022's 75, but sadly we're all a little too busy in our lives to take time off for writing articles. We were still consistent and regularly updated existing articles with new info, because that's the feedback we received in 2022: you folks preferred 1 article as a source-of-truth instead of multiple different ones that deal with the same thing. If you have any feedback about our coverage, please do let us know via email. Additionally, if you're interested to write for us (we'll pay you what we can), that would be great to hear.

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, and in 2022 we committed to keep it running as long as possible (it costs €30/year). That still holds true, and it gives our users enough time to buy a new device if they can afford it. Currently it has 975 active users, which is down from 1400 in 2023. Who knows, maybe this year we finally shut it down, when usage declines significantly?
    • 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 2024 & beyond, and stay safe!