OnePlus News Daily Dose #18: Bundling Amazon bloatwares, Carl's headshot lesson, 3/3T update fiasco and more!

In yesterday’s daily dose of OnePlus related news, we discussed about the latest stable OxygenOS update for OnePlus 5 and 5T. Although the first wave of update hit OnePlus 5 users pretty quickly, the company delayed the roll out for OnePlus 5T.

The waiting period is finally over! Few hours ago, users has started reporting about getting update prompt on their 5T. The update, which is carrying the version number 9.0.4, brings deep Google Duo integration with OxygenOS.

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OOS 9.0.4 OTA downloading on OnePlus 5T (Image source: OnePlus forums)

It seems that OnePlus is taking extra precautions this time while rolling OTA updates. There is more than a day of difference between initial wave and the second wave of OTA.

In fact, their defensive stance was already hinted by a OnePlus staff member yesterday.

oneplus_5t_oos_9.0.4_delay

Without further ado, here is the direct download link of the full update zip for manual flashing:

OxygenOS 9.0.4 for OnePlus 5T: Download (MD5: 2a31fff397ec3a11c42b92abd35762db)

The Chinese OEM also rolled out a set of fresh Open Beta builds a couple of days ago. We wrote about the new features and shared the download links for sideloing in this article.

Interestingly, some users reported a weird incident with these beta builds – especially with Open Beta 13 for OnePlus 6 and Open Beta 5 for OnePlus 6T.

Everything is fine but why you are installing apps on phone without user permission. I’ve uninstalled Amazon Music long time ago but after this update it is automatically added.

(Source)

I’m also from India and I too got the Amazon Music app after update installation.

(Source)

@Manu J. Can you explain why the Amazon prime app was included in this build for the Indian users? I per se won’t have any problem with it, but this thread is being flooded with that question. Your explanation will be much appreciated.
@camohan can you help in getting this clarified? I don’t know if Manu will see and respond my post.

(Source)

We at PiunikaWeb decided to examine the condition thoroughly. After dumping a handful of firmwares from OnePlus OTA server, dissecting and comparing them with each other, we have found the following:

OnePlus bundles four Amazon apps in their vendor partition. They are Amazon Prime Video, Amazon KindleAmazon India Online Shopping and Payments and Mobile Device Information Provider (package name: com.amazon.appmanager).

The last one probably acts like a stub for sharing device fingerprints, as it has permission like ACCESS_NETWORK_STATE and INTERNET.

oneplus_amazon_app_manager_permissions

OnePlus community stumbled on this app manager in past, but they just prefer to get rid of it.

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We are talking about the Mobile Device Information Provider

These apps are buried under /vendor/etc/apps/in/. The ‘in’ moniker clearly indicates that whenever the region is selected as India and/or and Indian SIM is being used, the apps are automatically getting installed. Users from other regions are unaffected.

No Amazon apps in my Open Beta 5 update on the 6T in the U.K.

It would appear that this is a, “feature”, for certain regions as far as I can tell. India, primarily, seems to be the recipient of the Amazon bloatware.

(Source)

However, they can be uninstalled normally, as none of them is system app.

In our observation, OnePlus does add another app i.e. Amazon Prime Music inside that directory with the newest beta updates. OnePlus 5 with OB27, OnePlus 5T with OB25 and OnePlus 6 with OB13 are definitely part of this schema.

As a matter of fact, it is not part of the latest Open Beta 5 for OnePlus 6T. Older beta releases as well as current stable channel updates are also free from it.

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Image source: OnePlus forums

There is no official comment on the matter at the time of reporting.

OnePlus boasts about their bloat free approach while designing OxygenOS, however they faced some hard backslash before by including Mkey in their firmware.

Do you think OnePlus is trying to push more regional bloatwares with new updates?

On the other hand, the update saga is about to get a new turn for OnePlus 3 and OnePlus 3T users. Readers should remember the recent drama about the Pie update for this phone duo.

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David’s hilarious comment to the whiners

David, who is OnePlus Community Manager in real life, has now posted that they are working hard on the security patch and “will bring you guys some good news very soon”.

Another cryptic hint? We are keeping a tab on it – don’t worry!

In another world, Carl Pei decided to talk about the importance of professional headshots. The co-founder of the Shenzhen based OEM demonstrated the capabilities of OnePlus 6T for taking classy headshots.

PUBG fans, it’s not what you are thinking!

Carl explained the logic behind his post:

But before you ask why you need a professional headshot, consider that your headshot is an opportunity for you to make a great first impression to potential employers, co-workers, and clients. Whether you’re updating your LinkedIn profile, online portfolio, or even just your work email, a well-taken headshot can make all the difference.

Sounds good? Give this thread a read.

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When Carl is a model

Last but not least, community favoured live wallpaper app Borderlight now supports OnePlus 6T and other phones with a waterdrop notch.

In case you are not aware, Borderlight shows a slowly moving colorful border around your screen’s edges.

borderlight_in_action

The developer is trying to include an auto-detect feature by creating a repo of the screen shape settings for different phones. You can get in touch with the developer via the support thread.

Allow me to call it day! Let’s enjoy the weekends. ?

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Kingshuk De

I came from a mixed background of Statistics and Computer Science. My research domains included embedded computer systems, mobile computing and delay tolerant networks in post-disaster scenarios. Apart from tinkering with gadgets or building hackintosh, I like to hop on various subreddits and forums like MyDigitalLife and XDA.