OnePlus kicks off 2015 with its very own Lollipop ROM

OnePlus delivers its own take on Android. Photo: OnePlus

OnePlus delivers its own take on Android. Photo: OnePlus

OnePlus has been promising its own Android software for a while, and that’s exactly what it delivered to kick off 2015. The new custom ROM, which is currently in alpha, is based on pure Lollipop and can be flashed using the TWRP custom recovery.

The OnePlus One launched with a custom version of CyanogenMod pre-installed, but the recent fiasco surrounding Cyanogen, Inc.’s exclusive partnership with Micromax in India — which actually saw the One banned there for a short time — may have caused some friction between OnePlus and Cyanogen.

Many suggested the Chinese company would develop its own Android software in response and eventually drop CyanogenMod, and just a few weeks later, those reports are looking increasingly accurate. While this may just be an alpha, One owners can get their hands on a first-party OnePlus ROM for the first time.

“This is the first step in what will become our own custom ROM,” OnePlus announced in a forum post. “It’s so early, in fact, that this build contains no extras beyond the stock features of AOSP Lollipop. It’s the base that we will continue to build upon, improve, and customize as we stabilize core functionalities on the latest firmware updates.”

With that being the case, this ROM isn’t recommended for everyone. In fact, if you’re using your OnePlus One as a daily driver, you probably want to steer well clear of it for now. It’s bound to be littered with bugs that could leave features you rely on unusable — you’ll find a long list of them in the OnePlus forum post — so it’s really only for testing purposes at this point.

If you do want to flash it, you’ll need the TWRP custom recovery. You’ll also need to obtain GApps — a package that includes all of Google’s Mobile Service, including Google Play — which aren’t baked into this ROM by default. Once you have those things, you can download the ROM from OnePlus and follow the company’s own installation instructions.