LineageOS not only helps older and lower-end phones get a taste of the latest Android, but it also provides even more capable devices with an alternative firmware option. In the case of phones that arrive with their own skins, like models from Samsung and Xiaomi, LineageOS offers an opportunity to enjoy some stock-looking Android. If you just bought an all-new Pixel 5a and want to install LineageOS on it, now you can do so, as builds are becoming available.
The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3 is an amazing smartphone that marks a lot of firsts for the company. You get an under-screen front-facing camera in the device's foldable 7.6-inch display, and a rear triple camera setup as well. And if you like having those cameras, you know, actually functioning, then you probably don't want to unlock your bootloader. Samsung is taking an odd measure to prevent people from modding its phones: if you unlock the Z Fold3's bootloader, the camera functionality will be completely crippled.
Once upon a time, the screen to the left of the homescreen on Google's Nexus phones and tablets was called Google Now, and it was a genuinely useful feed full of contextual information about things like your commute, upcoming calendar appointments, package deliveries, and so on. This eventually went away as the screen, now Google Discover, was turned into a news feed. There's now a way to get it back, but it's unfortunately limited to those using Xposed on a rooted device.
OnePlus appears to have silently and slightly upgraded some OnePlus 8Ts. Reports indicate that some recently purchased versions of the phone are now shipping with LPDDR5 RAM, a bump over the LPDDR4X RAM originally included and which OnePlus advertises. While the newer memory is technically "faster," the bigger effect is on enthusiasts that might be rooting and ROMing.
Lineage OS the premiere custom Android ROM, and one of the best things about it is that it's constantly expanding. Over the last few weeks the distributed team has added no less than sixteen new phones and tablets from a handful of vendors.
The last big release for the TeamWin Recovery Project was back in January, with the debut of TWRP 3.5. In addition to following some of the smaller tweaks to land since then, we've also been keeping an eye on the ever-expanding stable of devices that support the custom recovery solution. When we last checked in, that included some major handsets like the Pixel 4 and international Galaxy Note 10. Now we've got a lot more to add to that list with TWRP support arriving for a whole host of phones from Samsung, Motorola, and others.
Magisk developer Hung-Lin "John" Wu (aka topjohnwu at many venues) has just started working for Google — on the Android Platform Security team, no less. For those without the context to pick up on the irony, that means John Wu is now working for the group inside Google that Magisk and SafetyNet-circumventing Magisk Hide have been playing cat and mouse with for the last several years.
We've all had a phone reach a premature death, running out of software updates well before the device is actually too slow to be used. Thankfully, the custom ROM community helps keep your old gadgets alive, and there's no better ROM out right now than LineageOS. The open-source project brought Android 11 to nearly 60 phones earlier this month, and two more are about to be added to the list. The OnePlus 6 and 6T have picked up Android 11 courtesy of LineageOS, with nightly builds for both now available.
Out with the old, in with the new: LineageOS cut support for Android 9 Pie earlier this year, and to make up for the loss, the open-source project has just released version 18.1 based on Android 11. It comes with official support for about 60 phones and tablets.