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Essential

37

LineageOS 18.1 brings Android 11 to almost 60 phones

LineageOS 18.1 brings Android 11 to almost 60 phones

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.

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48

Carl Pei's new company bought the smoldering wreckage of Andy Rubin's short-lived Essential

Carl Pei's new company bought the smoldering wreckage of Andy Rubin's short-lived Essential

According to a filing at the UK Intellectual Property Office (first spotted by 9to5Google), Carl Pei's new company Nothing has purchased Andy Rubin's Essential. The acquisition was completed on January 6th, and while Nothing's ultimate goals still remain frustratingly unclear beneath an obscured layer of fake viral social media hype, this could indicate that smartphones are a goal.

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16

OSOM plans to release its first privacy-focused product next year

OSOM plans to release its first privacy-focused product next year

Essential may not be around anymore, but that doesn't mean the talented team that made up the company is taking a break. Essential's head of R&D, Jason Keats, founded OSOM Products earlier this year with a handful of former employees on board. Now a new interview has revealed a glimpse into the future of OSOM — and it's a vision that's focused pretty much entirely on user privacy.

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24

(Update: More info) Former Essential staff have started a new company called OSOM Products

(Update: More info) Former Essential staff have started a new company called OSOM Products

After launching one of the most hyped Android phones in recent years, Essential came to a sad end in the wake of the Andy Rubin controversy. The company still has a cult following and many are still using the Essential PH-1 despite the fact that it's no longer being supported. Those users will be excited to learn that a bunch of former employees are now part of a new company called OSOM Products, founded by Essential's head of R&D Jason Keats.

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63

Paranoid Android ROM is back from the dead with Android 10 builds (Update: Even more phones with Quartz 4)

Paranoid Android ROM is back from the dead with Android 10 builds (Update: Even more phones with Quartz 4)

LineageOS is the most-used custom Android ROM around, but that doesn't mean there isn't room for others. Paranoid Android was a popular choice back in the KitKat days, and while the ROM returned in full force with Nougat builds in 2017, there hasn't been much news since. Now the project is back (again), touting Android 10 builds for nine phones so far.

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10

LineageOS 17.1 arrives on the Essential Phone, Moto X 2014, and more phones

LineageOS 17.1 arrives on the Essential Phone, Moto X 2014, and more phones

LineageOS 17.1 is the latest release of the popular custom ROM, based on Android 10. The LineageOS project was already providing daily builds for over 60 phones and tablets, but in the time since we last covered the ROM, a handful of additional phones have been granted official support.

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21

Newton Mail is back from the dead once again

Newton Mail is back from the dead once again

The Newton Mail journey has been something of a rollercoaster ride. The innovative mail client had something of a cult following which it clearly wasn't able to convert into profit so its developers announced that it would shut down back in 2018 right after an unpopular price hike. It was then revived by Andy Rubin's Essential in 2019, but we all know how that worked out. Just when we thought it might have been gone for good, Newton Mail has now been acquired by a couple of users who couldn't bear to see it die.

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19

Former Essential employee reveals designs for unreleased PH-2 and PH-3 phones

Former Essential employee reveals designs for unreleased PH-2 and PH-3 phones

Earlier this year, the Andy Rubin-led smartphone startup Essential closed its doors. The company only ever released one product, the PH-1 Android phone, but it had plenty of canceled endeavors. We already knew about the 'Project GEM' phone-like prototype, but it seems Essential was also working on two more regular phones.

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38

Essential will let you flash Android 11 on the PH-1 thanks to generic system images

Essential will let you flash Android 11 on the PH-1 thanks to generic system images

The Essential Phone was one of a few devices that managed to keep up with Google's Pixel handsets when it comes to system updates, but with the company behind shut down after issues with its quirky GEM phone and the sexual harassment allegations surrounding its founder, we assumed development was completely halted. That doesn't seem to be the case just yet, though — Essential has published a Github repository aimed at making the phone fully compatible with Google's Android 11 generic system images (GSI).

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19

Buy the Essential phone dock that was never released on eBay (Update: Not for sale)

Buy the Essential phone dock that was never released on eBay (Update: Not for sale)

Seeing no clear path to bring its weird GEM concept phone to market, Andy Rubin's Essential abruptly stopped being a company earlier this week. Now, by complete coincidence, a bundle of Essential swag has appeared for sale on eBay — including an unreleased charging dock.

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