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.
This story was originally published and last updated .
Understandably, some people want to live their digital lives with as little Google as possible, and are willing to go to fairly extensive efforts to get the advertising juggernaut off all of their various devices. On Android, this can prove difficult: almost no smartphone on sale right ships Google-free, and of those that do, there are serious feature gaps to consider, among other things. Enter microG, a way to reduce your reliance on Google's apps, advertising, and tracking by using a de-Googled custom ROM. We'll show you what you need, how to get it set up, and what you need to know about using it.
LineageOS is the most popular custom ROM in existence, boasting official support for dozens of devices. The first Android 10 builds arrived earlier this month, and Lineage has continued to add to the roster of supported phones since then. The last time we covered the LineageOS 17.1, builds for the Nexus 6 and first-gen Pixels had just arrived, and there are even more additions now.
CyanogenMod was the king of custom Android ROMs for years. Not only did it add plenty of great features on top of stock Android (Theme Engine, anyone?), but it also brought newer versions of the OS to devices that were never officially updated. LineageOS has done an excellent job of maintaining that legacy over the past 3+ years, and the project recently released version 17.1 of the ROM, based on Android 10.
So, what is it like to use LineageOS in 2020? Does Lineage's take on Android 10 feel significantly different than the stock OS? That's what I wanted to find out, so I flashed the latest build on my trusty 2016 Google Pixel and had a look.
The LineageOS 17.1 custom ROM, based on Android 10, is finally here. However, until all the devices supported by the custom ROM get updated (or fall out of support through other means), the 16.0 branch based on Android 9 Pie will stick around. Since the last time we covered LineageOS 16, a handful of phones have been dropped.
LineageOS is the most popular custom ROM in existence, and the project prides itself on bringing newer versions of Android to unsupported devices. However, Lineage has been a bit slow to roll out a version based on Android 10 — the Pie-based ROM was already available by this time last year. Thankfully, the next major version of LineageOS seems to be just around the corner.
LineageOS is the most popular custom ROM out there, boasting official support for dozens of phones and tablets. The project is best known for breathing new life into older devices, and since we last covered Lineage, builds have become available for nine more phones — including some old favorites.
LineageOS is arguably the most popular custom ROM on the planet, with more than 1.6 million active installations. However, there have never been official builds available for the OnePlus 6, possibly due to the phone's use of A/B partitions. That has finally changed, as the first nightly downloads are available for the OP6.
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.
Many open-source projects, LineageOS included, live by the same motto - 'don't ask for an ETA.' Most developers of Lineage have other jobs and responsibilities, so large undertakings (like creating a new major update) take time. At long last, the waiting is over - LineageOS 15.1 is official, and it's coming to a device near you.