One of the best parts of LineageOS (and its predecessor, CyanogenMod) is that it can breathe life into older devices. Some phones and tablets can end up with several more years of Android updates thanks to the ROM community. Since we last looked at LineageOS, a whopping 10 more devices have been added, most of which are a few years old at this point.
The lads and lasses on the open source CyanogenMod Team continue to bring their Android nightly ROMs to phones and tablets that have long been abandoned by uncaring manufacturers. This week a handful of new devices get builds for CM13, based on code from Android 6.0. All of them are nightlies (so possibly not ready for primetime), but I'll bet their respective users are happy to get the attention anyway. Here they are:
Some of Sony's older hardware (well, relatively speaking, anyway) is getting updated to Lollipop today. If you own an Xperia Z (LTE model), Xperia ZR (LTE model), Xperia ZL, or Xperia Tablet Z, all released in 2013, check your status bar for an over-the-air update. According to Xperia Blog and the always-reliable XDA, all four of these devices are being upgraded as of now. As usual, it may take a few days or even a week or two for the rollout to reach you.
Sony has announced that the latest version of KitKat is now rolling out to many of its Xperia products with Z in their name. That includes the Z, the ZL, the ZR, and the Tablet Z. For the confused, no, I'm not talking about smearing chocolate all over a Wii U controller. Sony just really likes the final letter of the alphabet, and it's now delivering Android 4.4.4 to four devices all bearing Z in their names. The software version is number 10.5.1.A.0.283.
just in: #android 4.4.4 rolls for #Xperia Z, ZL, ZR & Tablet Z – brings fixes, battery, wifi & email improvements and more #SonyXperia
When you gather all these devices together for an update, there's no doubt Sony really loves the letter Z. Apparently it also loves KitKat, because all these devices are about to get their Android 4.4. KitKat updates. It's more than a number in this case – Sony has made some substantial tweaks.
Fitbit's Android app is useless without a matching fitness device to pair it with, but buying one without having a phone that supports it means having to rely on your computer for synching. That's less than desirable, so it's a good thing that the company is steadily working to expand the number of Android phones its products will support. Following the latest update to the Fitbit app, Moto G owners can now sync their handset up to a Fitbit accessory. They are joined by anyone who owns an Xperia Z, Z1, Z1S, ZL, ZR, Z Ultra, or Tablet Z.
The update also tackles a few crash reports and brings in some bug fixes aimed at Korean users.
While the Nexus elite have since moved on to KitKat, there are still a lot of devices just getting by with some flavor of Jelly Bean. At least Sony is keeping its promise of updating devices to the latest version of that sweet-themed platform. Android 4.3 is beginning to make its way to the Xperia Z, Xperia ZL, Xperia ZR, And Xperia Tablet Z.
This isn't necessarily an exhaustive list, and no timeframe has been announced. Other devices may get updated - and given Sony's decent record with Android updates, I would expect more phones to be announced soon - but these six already have their tickets punched.
The Xperia Z is a pretty spiffy flagship phone, and tough as well, thanks to its IP55/IP57 Ingress Protection rating. But now there's a more specialized model coming, the Xperia ZR, designed specifically for waterproof functioning in even wetter environments. The new phone is manufactured to the higher IP55/IP58 standard, meaning that it can be safely submersed in 1.5 meters of water for up to 30 minutes.
The Xperia ZR roughly follows the Z's design, getting rid of some of the slim lines and premium materials for the sake of its more waterproof chassis. It looks a lot like the slightly down-market ZL, in fact, with a 10.4mm-thick plastic body.