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.
We've clearly got a little bias on the subject, but Android has a long and storied history filled with its own triumphs and pitfalls. It's been well over a decade now since that first HTC G1 landed, the inaugural Android smartphone, and things have changed drastically since then. Being "first" might make you think the G1 was the most influential Android phone — but was it, really?
Based on internal documents from T-Mobile given to Android Police, some older devices, including the OnePlus One, Xperia Z3 series, and Nexus 9, will be unable to connect to the company's network beginning on January 29th. 19 devices, including phones, tablets, and even cameras, are named by the document. Affected customers will be notified by SMS beginning on December 28th, and will be able to upgrade to one of four phones for free.
Custom ROMs are no longer as popular as they once were, but they still have their place in the Android world. Here's an example: the OnePlus One, a phone that came out in 2014, is now able to run stable Android 10 by way of LineageOS 17.1, which has just been released to the open-source project's download page.
As 2019 ends and we enter a new decade, I felt the story of OnePlus deserved a bit more examination. In an email interview with CMO Kyle Kiang, I probed the history of a company that is often as shocking in its successes as it is in its marketing misfires. As it crests its sixth year as a smartphone vendor, it's more competitive than ever, coming a long way from the days when it could barely manage to build enough $349 OnePlus Ones using a tightly controlled and very annoying invitation system.
OnePlus has also transformed in ways I don't believe any of us predicted, going from a scrappy, value-first smartphone maker to a legitimate competitor in a field that includes some of the world's most recognizable brands: Samsung, Apple, and Google.
When the OnePlus One debuted back in 2014, it was sold as an enthusiast phone with insane bang for the buck. Fast forward four years, and Android 8.1 Oreo in the form of LineageOS 15.1 has just been released for it. The OPPO Find 7a and Find 7s and Galaxy S5 Plus/LTE-A are getting 15.1 as well, and the Huawei Ascend Mate 2 4G has returned with LOS 14.1.
After three years of official support, Google confirmed yesterday that the long-lived Nexus Player would no longer receive Android updates. While Android Oreo will continue to serve most users just fine, the custom ROM community will likely keep it updated for years to come. LineageOS already supported the set-top box with Nougat builds, but now it has been updated to Android 8.1 Oreo.
Just a month ago, OnePlus was caught collecting personally identifiable data from phone owners through incredibly detailed analytics. While the company eventually reversed course on the data collection, another discovery has been made in the software of OnePlus phones. One developer found an application intended for factory testing, and through some investigation and reverse-engineering, was able to obtain root access using it.
Cyanogen, Inc has been partnered with Microsoft for a while now, bringing various mods to devices running Cyanogen OS. The company is launching the Cortana mod in India today, starting out with the OnePlus One. Cortana first came to the Cyanogen operating system in January this year, followed by the 13.1 update, which enabled more widespread mod support.
To get this update, your OnePlus One must be running the latest version of the operating system - the aforementioned 13.1. This enables the voice-activated assistant feature which behaves much like Google Now; Cyanogen says Cortana is deeply integrated into the OS, with a 'Hey Cortana' command waking her up.
The OnePlus 3 is coming. So do you start saving up money to buy the latest device? You could... or you can do your budget a favor and grab one of the company's existing devices. OnePlus has just dropped the prices for all three of its phones.