OnePlus has announced that it has created its own version of AOSP 'for those who want that 100 percent pure Android feel'. It means that users of the OnePlus One can now install pure Android on their handsets. In this article we explain how to get Android KitKat on your OnePlus One. But first, a few caveats. (See also: best smartphones of 2014 UK.)
OnePlus says the vanilla Android ROM is 'a work in progress'. There are some known issues, such as the Gyroscope, encryption features and VPN not working on all devices. Attempting this process
does not void a OnePlus One phone's warranty, according to OnePlus, but it says: 'if you brick your phone, however, you're on your own. We will repair it, but that's not covered by warranty'.
Finally, it is a complicated process, not for the faint of heart. The basic CyanogenMod with which your OnePlus One comes preloaded is not far from vanilla Android, and for most people that will be enough. And you can, of course, install Mods that will change the look and feel of the OnePlus One's version of Android. These cost little or no money and are in some ways the main point of the OnePlus One. But if you want pure Android, here is how to get it. (See also: Inside the OnePlus One phone: What the specs don't tell you.)
First, back up your phone!
How to get pure Android KitKat on the OnePlus One
1. Download the .zip file from the link below, you should end up with a .zip file on your PC:
Rename the file 'recovery.img'. Place this file on your PC or laptop desktop, inside a folder called 'platform-tools', that is itself inside a folder called 'android-sdk-windows'.
2. Now you need to unlock Bootloader. This opens the door to the internal memory of the device to be written on to, and so will allow you to install vanilla Android. Remember that this process will wipe everything off the phone. So be sure to backup before you start.
Turn the phone off, then boot it into fastboot mode by holding Volume up and Power. Your OnePlus phone will now display 'fastboot' text indicating that it has successfully entered fastboot mode.
Plug the phone into your PC, then open a command prompt window and type:
This will list the connected devices. You need your phone's serial number to show up. (If the phone isn't listed you must fix your drivers so that your phone is listed under fastboot devices.)
Assuming your phone is listed - and this is the point at which your phone will be wiped - proceed to unlocking the Bootloader by typing in the following command:
fastboot oem unlock
Allow the command to finish excuting, then run this command:
Your OnePlus One phone will reboot. Once it has finished go to to Settings, About phone. Tap on Build number seven times. This will enable Developer options. Now go back to Settings, Developer options, and select Enable USB debugging. Next, go to Settings, Developer options, and disable 'Update recovery with system updates'.