29 September 2020
When OnePlus pushed OxygenOS 11 based on Android 11 DP3 last month, it also rolled out a new UI with drastic changes. The new interface is way different from what you would expect from a stock Android experience. This resulted in a mixed response from the community with some even calling it a direct copy of Samsung's One UI. OnePlus has now offered an official explanation about what caused them to go for these significant changes.
The official post mentions that while stock Android is a good starting point, the team believes a lot can still be done to improve the user experience. This is the reason it keeps on doing user testing to discover areas where improvements can be made. One such area is the unused white space because of the ever-increasing display sizes. Since most users prefer one-handed usage, they find it difficult to reach the top part of the UI.
The team decided to tweak the UI in such a way that most of the commonly used options like tabs and scrollable areas reside in the lower half of the display. This will prevent users from stretching their fingers in an attempt to reach the top, especially the corners. The new UI has app pagination at the top followed by app title, initial app open spacing, scrollable content, and the action draw/bar at the bottom.
There is no doubt that the new OxygenOS UI does resemble Samsung's new One UI but it is likely because both companies are targeting the same aspect i.e. one-handed usage on bigger displays.