In honor of Android's 10th birthday, we're taking a look at the most important and influential Google-powered phones of the past decade. Every one of these devices redefined Android in some way, by pushing the OS further into the mainstream, introducing design trends, or signaling the start/end of an era.
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.
CyanogenMod 14.1 nightlies have been rolling out for more than a week now and bringing Android 7.1 to several devices including Nexuses and other phones and tablets that don't have the official update yet and likely won't for many more months.
After Steve Kondik's announcement of the 14.1 nightlies rollout, several more devices have joined the fold in the past days. Some have already received a couple of nightly revisions, others are on the list but don't have any 14.1 nightly up yet. Here is the full list:
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.
Back in February, Cyanogen Inc. announced the MOD platform, a way for developers to customise the Cyanogen OS experience with deeper-level integration into the framework of the operating system. The update to Cyanogen OS 13.1 - with MOD support included - is now rolling out to the OnePlus One.
Currently, Twitter, Skype, OneNote, Cortana, and Microsoft Hyperlapse hook into the platform and provide features integrated into Cyanogen. Twitter shows trending tweets on your lockscreen; Skype integrates VOIP into the dialer app, along with Skype contacts clearly marked in the phone's contacts app; OneNote integrates with the email and phone apps to enable you to take notes anywhere in the OS; the already-existing Cortana mod takes things further, allowing users to 'take a selfie' hands-free, while also expanding to the lockscreen; and Microsoft Hyperlapse means time lapse videos can be created easily in the camera app, or videos edited in the Gallery app.
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.
An official Marshmallow CyanogenOS build for the OnePlus One is rolling out, but of course, it's staged. Unlike all those past updates, this one is a big deal; it's Android 6.0 Marshmallow. If you don't want to wait, there's a ZIP below for your sideloading pleasure.
Cyanogen Inc. started sending out Cyanogen OS 12.1.1 to the OnePlus One earlier this week. This update is notable as it's the first build that comes with Microsoft Cortana built-in. It turns out that's not the only Microsoft integration. The file opening dialog also seems to be suggesting Microsoft apps even if you don't have them installed.