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.
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.
Essential is in a strange place right now as a company. Its latest phone is still its first model, the 2017 PH-1, with no direct replacement in sight. Still, Essential is keeping its remaining users happy, as it has once again rolled out monthly security patches at the same time as Google's Pixel phones receive the OTA.
The Essential Phone is among the first devices outside Google's Pixels to pick up Android 10. We can confirm the OTA is rolling out as we speak for devices running both the previous Android Q betas and the last stable release of Android 9 Pie.
Essential might not have a new phone to sell you, but it does have a free OTA update today. Google has started rolling out the latest Android patches, and Essential has them ready for the Essential Phone, as tradition dictates. Don't expect new features, but security is pretty important, too.
The Essential Phone has been around since 2017, but surprisingly, it has never officially been supported by the popular LineageOS custom ROM. The phone is still receiving updates from Essential at a rapid pace, so there hasn't been much of a need to replace the stock software, but now you can install official LineageOS builds if you so desire.
By all accounts, Essential doesn't have a whole lot going on right now. It launched one phone about 18 months ago and has been cutting staff ever since. If Essential is working on another phone, it hasn't seen fit to talk about that. So, what is there to do other than keep the Essential Phone updated? Another month, another instant update for Essential Phone owners.
Following our previous expectations and just in time for developers in attendance at the ongoing I/O developer conference, Google has just pushed out downloads for Android Q Beta 3. OTAs don't seem to be pushing out via the traditional means just yet, but you can start sideloading the update on your Pixel now. Beta 3 also adds support for 15 other partner devices from 12 OEMs.
Following the Pixels getting theirs today, Essential has pushed out the May security patch to the Essential Phone, right on time. This is quite typical for the company to be the first third-party OEM to update their phones, and unlike others, these patches are applied for everyone, not just those who opt into beta programs.