New updates are being added at the bottom of this story…….
Original story (published on November 20, 2020) follows:
The race to Android 11 is on as all the major smartphone vendors strive to push out stable builds of their respective custom skins to eligible devices. More on this in our dedicated Android 11 tracker.
OnePlus is also hard at work to deliver this update to its devices and at the time of writing, the OnePlus 8 series had already bagged the update with unofficial reports indicating we’d see more eligible devices getting updated before end of the year.
See, there has always been a little disconnect between unlocked devices and carrier devices in the software distribution chain.
While unlocked devices often get new updates pretty much on day-one, carrier devices do lag behind a bit as the update has to be tweaked by the carrier before it is rolled out to the devices.
This awkward situation is one that T-Mobile users of the OnePlus 8 are privy to. Months after the unlocked version of OnePlus 8 bagged the update to Android 11-based OxygenOS 11, T-Mobile is yet to roll out the update to its devices.
A little history lesson; last year we saw Android 10 get officially unveiled in September. The then flagship devices from OnePlus, the OnePlus 7 series of devices bagged the update to Android 10-based OxygenOS 10 in the same month.
However, it was not until December 2019, three months later, that we saw the T-Mobile version of OnePlus 7 devices getting updated to Android 10.
One would argue that based on that precedence, we should expect the T-Mobile OnePlus 8 devices to get Android 11 in or around the same December timeline, and that could be the case.
But this paints a rather grim picture for users with carrier devices as they will always be lagging behind their unlocked counterparts by a few months throughout the life of the device.
It is scenarios like these that necessitate measures such as unlocking device bootloaders and switching from a carrier version of the firmware to an international or unlocked versions.
These are extreme measures that shouldn’t be necessary in 2020. Android as a platform has come a long way and seemingly, carriers are proving to be one of the bottlenecks to faster new software adoption.
We can only hope that T-Mobile along with other carriers work on reducing this ugly gap as they risk alienating their users in the long run.
NOTE: We have these and many more OnePlus stories in our dedicated OnePlus section.
Update 1 (January 5)
IST 04:54 pm: Well, this is embarrassing. A T-Mobile community manager recently stated that they still do not have an official release date for the OxygenOS 11 update release, but that their support page does confirm that development for the same is underway.
I checked on this and we don’t have a solid date for release. I do know we’ll be getting it. Our support page does show it’s in the development stage, but that’s all we have right now.
Not exactly novel information, but still something that had to be conveyed to users desperately waiting on further developments. This also means that the update seems distant as there’s no “solid date for release” yet.
Update 2 (January 11)
IST 13:10 pm: T-Mobile OnePlus users are not the only ones with update woes as there is no sign of OxygenOS 11 for team Verizon as well.
Verizon support recently responded to a query saying that there is still no ETA. This comes months after the global OnePlus 8 bagged the update back in October.
Update 3 (January 15)
IST 10:10 am: T-Mobile’s official tracker for the OnePlus 8 has been updated to indicate that the device’s (OxygenOS 11) Android 11 update is now in testing. More on that here.
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