It seems OnePlus users have lost an important feature that made the company’s phones different from others. Popular Gcam modder Celso Azavedo, said in a blog post today, that the company has blocked methods to modify the camera app on its OnePlus 7, 7T, 8, 8T and Nord series. This means users can’t easily use the Gcam camera app on their OnePlus devices anymore, something that many modders and enthusiasts consider to be the best way to make the most out of these phones’ camera hardware. Azavedo says that the company blocked this method with the Android 11 update earlier.
What is modding and why it matters
The Gcam app, though considered inferior for the longest time, had become a hot favourite amongst developers since the company started making Pixel devices. The company created industry leading camera algorithms for these devices and using the Gcam mod allowed users to take advantage of the same. Since smartphones today have started similar hardware across price changes, using mods like this often allowed users to maximize what a given set of hardware could be used for.
Additionally, OnePlus devices have always been popular amongst the company’s core fans because of the modding capabilities. The company had originally made a business out of exploiting Android’s open nature, allowing users to customize devices to extents that other companies just wouldn’t allow. That though has been fading for a few years now, even since the company made its devices more mainstream.
The difference is apparently big enough that Azavedo doesn’t recommend OnePlus devices anymore. “Until not long ago, the OnePlus 7/7T, 8/8T, and Nord series couldn’t use all cameras without root. This by itself was already bad, but when a developer found a way of accessing all cameras, OnePlus decided to block his method with the Android 11 update,” he wrote in his post.
“I’ve heard a few reasons for this “block”. From OnePlus being worried about possible security issues, to them wanting people to use their own app instead, and even because they didn’t like the negative feedback from users when they found out that the sensors used on the wide/macro/telephoto cameras are far worse and cheaper than the main sensor. I don’t know what’s the true reason, but from a user point of view, this is not acceptable. I’m not aware of any other “dev friendly” brand being so aggressive when it comes to the auxiliary cameras,” he continues.